HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
Survive!
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Pathfinder
Skatetown, USA
Donbass
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Mary Poppins Returns
Beyond the Sky
   
 
Newest Articles
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
   
 
  Look Back in Anger Love Can StallBuy this film here.
Year: 1959
Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Mary Ure, Edith Evans, Gary Raymond, Glen Byam Shaw, Phyllis Nielson-Terry, Donald Pleasence, Jane Eccles, S.P. Kapoor, George Devine, Walter Hudd, Amne Dickins, John Dearth, Nigel Davenport, Alfred Lynch
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jimmy Porter (Richard Burton) is an angry young man in late fifties London, where the only pleasure he has in life is to play his trumpet in a jazz band on a Saturday night, though his actual job is running a stall at Romford Market, selling sweets. This is an unusual path for a graduate of university to have taken, but more unusual than that is his marriage to Allison (Mary Ure) who hails from an upper-class family who were deeply unimpressed by her choice of husband. Jimmy is painfully aware of this disdain, and it has fuelled his tempestuous relationship with his wife as they argue every day and only occasionally show one another the love that brought about their union...

Arguably the nineteen-sixties in Britain started here, though the fifties were difficult to shake off for that decade's first quarter or so. This was the play that began the British New Wave - there were plenty of these movements across European cinema and theatre, and John Osborne could lay claim to booting down the barriers that prevented the lower classes from having their voices heard in culture, opening the way for a selection of new performers who embraced the opportunities now available to them. The original production was in 1956, but Osborne and his friend and colleague Tony Richardson were keen to expand it into a movie to increase its audience potential.

Nigel Kneale, best known for creating Quatermass on television and adapting a highly controversial TV play of George Orwell's 1984, was recruited to open out the play so that it was not purely confined to one location, and with Oswald Morris on cinematography duties, at least the film was guaranteed to look good. Osborne and Richardson set up their own film company which they named Woodfall with a view to creating a new form of British cinema, one which was labelled kitchen sink drama, not entirely flatteringly either, and soon a new realism had the nation's movies by the throat. This ensured audiences, even those who didn't like the New Wave, expected differently now.

They didn't necessarily want searing, documentary-style authenticity about the way we lived now in every entertainment available to them, but a sense that the media was expanding to take in a variety of styles that would previously have been deigned experimental or box office poison for that matter, was in the air, and those audiences were beginning to embrace them. So where did this leave poor old Look Back in Anger (which you must try not to call Don't Look Back in Anger - thank Oasis for that)? It's true that being a pioneer does mean you are superseded by those which you influenced (or spawned), and it’s equally true that Richard Burton here was overtaken by a new breed of actor like Albert Finney, Alan Bates or Tom Courtenay who were able to capitalise on the fresh, exciting mood in the air of British artistic life.

This had Burton sliding further into dreadful alcoholism and the infamy of the gossip pages, eclipsing his very fine talent with a series of embarrassing movies that paid well and that was about all he had to show for them. To make matters worse, reassessments looked back in disdain at Burton's excellent work here and complained he was too old, too declamatory, for the part, but he makes an impression as Jimmy's rebellion is engulfed by his drab surroundings, his personal disappointments having him lash out at those who could help him, and finally becoming an embarrassment rather than a vital personality you can see flashes of when we have caught up with him. Ure, Osborne's wife at the time, matched him with a more vulnerable approach, and Claire Bloom as Alison's best friend Helena just about sold us on the idea her hatred of Jimmy could turn to love when she sees his own vulnerability at the point of a bereavement. It was all very intense, but yesterday's revolution can be tomorrow’s (class) war stories, though the film was valuable for all sorts of reasons.

[Available as part of the BFI's Woodfall box set on Blu-ray and DVD, which includes these fully restored films:

Look Back in Anger (Tony Richardson, 1959)
The Entertainer (Tony Richardson, 1960)
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960)
A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962)
Tom Jones (Tony Richardson, 1963) (New 4K digital restorations of the original theatrical version of the film and the 1989 director's cut)
Girl with Green Eyes (Desmond Davis, 1964)
The Knack ...and how to get it (Richard Lester, 1965).

All that plus 20 hours of extras: short films, featurettes, interviews, audio commentaries and an extensive booklet.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 506 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: