Littlest Horse Thieves, The (film) When, in 1909, the manager of a Yorkshire coal mine decides to replace the pit ponies who pull the ore carts with machinery and have the ponies destroyed, three youngsters, Dave, Tommy, and Alice, get together and daringly kidnap the ponies from the mine. The kids get caught, however, and the ponies seem doomed. An explosion in the mine traps some of the men and they are saved only with the help of one of the ponies which dies in the attempt. In his honor all the ponies are put out to pasture for life. Released on May 26, 1976, in England as Escape from the Dark; U.S. release on March 11, 1977. Directed by Charles Jarrott. 104 min. Stars Alastair Sim (Lord Harrogate), Peter Barkworth (Richard Sandman), Maurice Colbourne (Luke), Susan Tebbs (Violet), Andrew Harrison (Dave), Chloe Franks (Alice), Benjie Bolgar (Tommy), Prunella Scales (Mrs. Sandman). The Grimethorpe Colliery Band provided the music, composed and conducted by Ron Goodwin. The film was shot on location in Yorkshire, England, including Langthwaite Village, the moors, historic Ripley Castle, the Oakworth Railways station, the Thorpe-Hesley colliery, and at Pinewood Studios in London. The actual underground mine workings, including the stables housing the pit ponies, were built by studio craftsmen at Pinewood. The working title of the film had been Pit Ponies. Released on video in 1986.