HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Look Back in Anger Love Can Stall
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, RomanceBuy from Amazon
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 3216 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: