Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Candleshoe Movie Poster Image
Old-school Disney treasure hunt is fun but dated.
  • G
  • 1977
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

When Casey is bad, she's awful, but when she's good, it makes an impression. Casey has had a tough life, which causes her to act out and to mistrust people. But once she finds her true home, she puts her hustler's talents to good use.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The true role models in this movie are Lady St. Edmund and Priory, who take in abandoned kids and who create a rag-tag family. Lady St. Edmund knows how to relate to Casey in a very real way, which helps heal Casey's wounds. And though he does it through trickery, Priory keeps the estate running when times get tough.

Violence & Scariness

There's a girl fight with punching and toe stomping and slapping. The "bad guys" try to catch the kids and all sorts of ruckus -- including a Pink Panther-style sword fight -- follows.


Though she's a tough girl, Casey doesn't push the curse word envelope. But British curse words like "bloody" are uttered.


Casey sniffs out the con that Mr. Bundage is running and demands 10% of the take, plus a Ferrari. She looks at Ferrari brochures in her spare time.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The foster dad drinks a beer, and adults drink wine with dinner, but no one is inebriated. Mr. Bundage smokes a cigar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the main character is a sassy foster kid who vandalizes, shoplifts, and runs wild. She even participates in a con, lying to and manipulating the kind Lady St. Edmund. But ultimately, she turns around, and kids will get the happy ending they are hoping for.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRPaulson February 23, 2020

Fun Family Film with Treasure Hunt

Not really any objectionable content, save for an adult slapping a child on the face at the start of the movie. My daughter asked why the bad guy kept saying “b... Continue reading
Adult Written byRonjasMom December 6, 2020

For older kids and adults

This is an enjoyable and ultimately warmhearted movie, but acts and threats of violence from an adult criminal, committed upon a child, make it inappropriate fo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bymoviemaster11048 January 21, 2020
I loved this movie, Jodie Foster was great in this film, and so was Helen Hayes. You will like it if you like Freaky Friday or other Jodie Foster films, and you... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bygilly_boy January 11, 2012

It shows that deep down in a hard shell is a soft heart and what it means to be a family.

A girl from LA pretending to be another girl that went missing so she could get the treasure. Before she finds it, she starts to understand the love of a family... Continue reading

What's the story?

Casey Brown (Jodie Foster) comes from skid row, a place where her foster parents care more about an envelope of money than about her welfare. When she is traded off to a couple of thugs, her life changes for good. Soon she meets a slippery con man named Harry Bundage (Leo McKern) who cuts a deal with her that goes like this: she poses as the long-lost granddaughter of a countess (played by Helen Hayes), all the while looking for a treasure that the countess's forefather buried on the estate called Candleshoe. Casey agrees -- for a price -- and is swept off to England to take her role in the deal. While at Candleshoe, she is greeted by the versatile butler/gardener/driver, Priory (David Niven) who is doing what he can to keep the estate afloat. But Casey finds she is not alone -- Lady St. Edmund has taken in a handful of local orphans. And after finding clues to the treasure, Casey begins to see the value of being part of a real family.

Is it any good?

The acting alone makes this movie worth a look. Jodie Foster shows her prowess as a teenage girl fresh from the streets of L.A.. She does not waver when pressed by more seasoned con artists than herself, and she sure knows how to take care of herself when she's challenged by other kids. But the actor who steals the show is David Niven, as the chameleon-like butler who saves Candleshoe from ruin. Helen Hayes plays the gentle, yet relatable grand dame, creating a nice foil to Jodie Foster's tough American kid.

 The plot is catchy and active, and the emotions are real. Plus, finding a treasure is always fun. The whole family should enjoy this fun film, even if it seems a bit dated.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Casey refuses to touch or hold Lady St. Edmund's hand. What is she afraid of? What does trust mean in your family? When is it okay to trust people you hardly know? When should you be cautious?

  • Jodie Foster was a child star and a celebrity at a young age. How does celebrity change a kid? Conversely, how are kids affected by celebrities? Should celebrities be role models?

  • Casey is a kid who acts out in unproductive ways. Why does she do that? Have you ever been tempted to be destructive? What makes you want to break or vandalize things? How did you feel after you did something destructive? What could have been done differently?

Movie details

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