US / GB
Dir: Robert Butler
Starring: Kurt Russell and Alfred Burke
Two school boys in Ireland get caught up in the world of Cold War espionage
This Walt Disney adventure film was originally broadcast in the US as a three-part made for television film on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, under the title Guns in the Heather. It was then re-edited for a European theatrical release under the title The Secret of Boyne Castle. It was later re-broadcast on American television in 1978 under yet another title, Spy-Busters. The story is based on the 1963 novel Guns in the Heather by Lockhart Amerman and the original made for television three-part version was 180 minutes in length. The film is a wonderful romp through late-1960s Ireland, in a time when Disney made delightful family adventures, and it features a scene on Irish Railways with GM 141 Class diesel No.B151 on a local passenger train. The railway sequence appears at the start of Part Two of the film and begins with shots of the train at Crusheen station, County Clare. The journey includes genuine shots filmed onboard and some exhilarating stunts that end with a jump from the roof of a carriage whilst the train is in motion. As the children board the train at Crusheen, it is assumed that this sequence used the Athenry-Limerick ‘Long Pavement’ branch.