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Friday, 8 March, 2002, 10:08 GMT
Lost Asher film returns home
Jane Asher in  Adventure in the Hopfields
Jane Asher (second right) was a six-year-old star
A long-lost children's film that was found in a skip in the United States is being shown for the first time in almost 50 years in a Kent village hall.

Melvyn Hayes in Adventure in the Hopfields
The film gave Melvyn Hayes one of his first big roles
Starring a young Jane Asher and Melvyn Hayes, Adventure in the Hopfields will be shown in the village of Goudhurst, where it was made in 1954.

The film had been all-but forgotten until it was found by a US film fan in a rubbish bin in Chicago.

A UK enthusiast bought the reel for just $35 (25) but did not know that it would turn out to star a host of child actors who would go on to become household names.

Actress and novelist Asher was just six years old when she appeared in it, while it was one of the first major roles for Hayes, who went on to star in Summer Holiday and TV sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

The director, John Guillermin, is better known for making later films including The Towering Inferno and Death on the Nile.

Barry Littlechild
Barry Littlechild bought the film
It is being shown in Goudhurst village hall by film buff Barry Littlechild, who bought the reel on the off-chance after just seeing the title.

"The company that made it did a deal for American television and they obviously got fed up with it and it got put in a skip at the back," he told the BBC Breakfast programme.

"As luck had it, a film collector was walking past, saw this stuff, took it home, sorted it through and put an advert in an American magazine, which I saw, and thought it sounded interesting."

"I ran it and not only had it been filmed just up the road in Goudhurst, but it had A-list stars.

"I couldn't believe it - a long-lost film. I thought 'this is amazing'."

Jane Asher
Jane Asher is now an actress, novelist and runs a cake company
Many of the places shown in the film have changed, and Mr Littlechild said he is showing it in the village hall to show what life in the area was like.

Hayes said he got paid 24 per week for filming - "wonderful money in those days".

He also recalled that a fire scene at the end of the film got out of control and led to some unplanned dramatic scenes.

"The whole set was alight, the whole place was burning, they had to rescue us," he told Breakfast.

The film also starred Mandy Miller and Anthony Valentine, and was due to be shown in Goudhurst on Friday, 8 March.

See also:

01 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Lost Dad's Army shows found
13 Feb 01 | Wales
Rare Dylan Thomas film found
20 May 99 | Entertainment
Lost Lloyd George film gets showing
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