Escape From The Dark / The Littlest Horse Thieves

Last Updated on: January 20th, 2024

“Escape from the Dark,” also known as “The Littlest Horse Thieves,” is a British family drama film released in 1976. 

The film is set in the late 19th century in a small English mining town where the coal mine is the main source of employment for the villagers. The story revolves around a group of young boys who work in the mine and take care of the pit ponies that help with the mining process.

As the mining industry faces challenges and struggles, the boys are faced with the prospect of losing their beloved pit ponies to the slaughterhouse, which is a common fate for old and worn-out animals. Determined to save the ponies, the boys come up with a plan to set the ponies free and lead them to safety in the hope of finding them a new home.

The film focuses on themes of friendship, loyalty, and the bravery of the young boys as they navigate through difficult circumstances. It highlights the importance of standing up for what is right and the bond between humans and animals.

“Escape from the Dark” was directed by Charles Jarrott and stars Mark Lester, Alastair Sim, and Peter Vaughan. It received positive reviews for its heartwarming story and strong performances from its young cast.

While not as well-known as some other family films, “Escape from the Dark” remains a charming and poignant movie that continues to be appreciated by audiences who enjoy heartwarming tales of adventure and courage.

Additional Details


  • The Littlest Horse ThievesAlastair Sim as Lord Harrogate
  • Peter Barkworth as Richard Sandman
  • Maurice Colbourne as Luke Armstrong
  • Susan Tebbs as Violet Armstrong
  • Andrew Harrison as Dave Sadler
  • Chloe Franks as Alice Sandman
  • Benjie Bolgar as Tommy Sadler
  • Prunella Scales as Mrs. Sandman
  • Leslie Sands as Foreman Sam Carter
  • Joe Gladwin as Bert
  • Jeremy Bulloch as Ginger


  • Director: Charles Jarrott
  • Writer: Rosemary Anne Sisson
  • Producer: Ron Miller
  • Music: Ron Goodwin

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and