Taking place in a small village in America's deep South, a devoutly religious 15-year-old girl, Cathy, discovers a mysterious, injured man hiding in her family’s barn. When she asks his identity, the first words he utters are 'Jesus Christ'. Believing the man is in fact the real Jesus Christ, Cathy and the town's other children vow to protect the stranger from the outside world. Meanwhile, the adults are on the hunt for an escaped murderer.
The phrase 'whistle down the wind' is best known as the title of the 1961 film, directed by Bryan Forbes, and most people probably assume that it originated with the film. The plot revolved around the mistaken belief of a group of schoolchildren that a fugitive criminal they had discovered in hiding was in fact Jesus. In a tale heavy in Christian symbolism, the criminal was eventually inadvertently given away by the children and re-arrested.