Escape from the Dark
Escape from the Dark FilmPoster.jpeg
UK Quad Poster
Directed byCharles Jarrott
Written byRosemary Anne Sisson
Story byBurt Kennedy
Rosemary Anne Sisson
Produced byRon Miller
StarringAlastair Sim
Peter Barkworth
Maurice Colbourne
Susan Tebbs
Andrew Harrison
Chloe Franks
CinematographyPaul Beeson
Edited byRichard Marden
Music byRon Goodwin
Distributed byBuena Vista Distribution
Release dates
May 26, 1976 (UK)
March 11, 1977 (US)
Running time
104 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
United States

Escape from the Dark (American title: The Littlest Horse Thieves) is a 1976 British-American family drama film produced by Walt Disney Productions, directed by Charles Jarrott and starring Alastair Sim (in his final film role), Peter Barkworth and Maurice Colbourne.[1]

The film was released in the United Kingdom on May 26, 1976. In the United States, it was released under the title The Littlest Horse Thieves on a double bill with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh on March 11, 1977.[2]


Set in 1909, a coal mine in Yorkshire, England has used pit ponies to haul coal for many years. When they are to be replaced by machinery that will speed up production and increase profits, three children – Dave (Andrew Harrison), Tommy (Benjie Bolgar) and Alice (Chloe Franks) – learn the ponies are to be slaughtered so they team up in a scheme to steal the horses and give them their freedom.



Filming took place in 1975 around North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire such as Arkengarthdale, Langthwaite, Ripley Castle and Oakworth railway station. Also at Thorpe Hesley pit in South Yorkshire.

Home media

The film was released on VHS as Escape from the Dark (UK) and The Littlest Horse Thieves (US) by Walt Disney Home Video in the 1980s.

In June 1999, Anchor Bay Entertainment released the film on DVD for the first time in widescreen (1.85:1) aspect ratio and full-frame presentation without bonus features; Anchor Bay re-released the film on DVD on January 21, 2003 but only in full-frame presentation.

On July 28, 2009, The Littlest Horse Thieves was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment as a Disney Movie Club exclusive DVD, available only to club members for mail or online ordering.


  1. ^ "The Littlest Horse Thieves (1976) - IMDb".
  2. ^ "The Littlest Horse Thieves (1976) - Charles Jarrott | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie".