HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
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
   
 
  West 11 No Direction Home
Year: 1963
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Alfred Lynch, Kathleen Breck, Eric Portman, Diana Dors, Kathleen Harrison, Finlay Currie, Freda Jackson, Peter Reynolds, Harold Lang, Marie Ney, Sean Kelly, Patrick Wymark, Allan McClelland, Francesca Annis, Gerry Duggan, Brian Wilde, David Hemmings
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Joe Beckett (Alfred Lynch) wakes up in the bed of his casual girlfriend Ilsa Barnes (Kathleen Breck) and they share a few pleasantries, but he's not the sort to hang around and besides, he wants to return to his bedsit to catch up on his sleep before he has to go to work later on. He works in a gents' outfitters, but hates being told what to do by his boss - it's the same old story for Joe, he doesn't stick around in any employment for more than a couple of months at a time, and sure enough when he arrives late yet again with a flimsy excuse his boss is not having any of it and gives him an earbashing. This is all Joe wants to hear, since it means he can hand in his notice, but as he is leaving a customer, Captain Richard Dyce (Eric Portman) makes a mental note of him...

The same year Billy Liar was released to widespread acclaim as one of the defining films of the British New Wave in cinema, its author Keith Waterhouse was co-writing this slightly similar drama for the then-up and coming director Michael Winner. Winner hadn't quite found his metier yet and was flitting around various genres, settling on comedy for the rest of the nineteen-sixties and a few lucrative pictures before his thrillers began to dominate, often with envelope pushing violence which didn't impress the critics but the public found them entertaining enough. Really he tried his hand at all kinds of films, which could have seen him accused of the old phrase "Jack of all trades, master of none", but it was significant he left his interest in straightforward drama behind more or less here.

You could see why, as being deeply serious about the malaise of the modern male was very much a part of the fresh talent in film from the sixties, yet Winner only flirted with it later rather than making his stories about this and nothing but. More than that, he could not test the censors as much as he'd go on to do with his genre movies, so the strong indications that sexual situations were happening between Joe and Ilsa, as well as the Diana Dors character Georgia, remained just that: indications, with more than one scene set in bed and Breck nude under the covers, but since this wasn't a Continental production she wasn't allowed to fling them back and give us an eyeful, no matter how much Winner appeared to be itching to invite her to do so.

Mostly this was an actor's showcase for Lynch (first choice Oliver Reed, who would have been fine too, was unavailable), as he grumpily tolerated his directionless life and the people in it because Joe didn't have any answers as to what precisely he should have been doing, the stereotypical daily grind and boring marriage holding no appeal for him. This was where Dyce entered into the frame, though he tended to hang around as if contemplating a proposition, which he didn't do until the final act where he suggests Joe could make a small fortune that could set him up comfortably if he agreed to carry out a simple task for him. That task? Murder Dyce's elderly aunt by making it appear to be a burglary gone wrong, thereby winning the Captain his inheritance.

Even if he does go along with this, those darn censors would not have allowed Joe to get away with it in 1963, so it was a downbeat conclusion we were headed for, not that the rest of it was exactly hilarious. Populated with characters who suggested the post-war hangover had finally lifted but had left a nation pondering their next move with no idea of what it should be, the Swinging Sixties were on the cusp of kicking off, but West 11 - the title came from the London borough - hadn't quite reached there yet. There was a wild party and a jazz club to be seen, yet there was no sense of fun, no sense that novelty was right around the corner, although granted even the movies celebrating that after the fifties were not aversed to the odd example of navel-gazing and contemplating what it was all about. Joe is like Billy Liar without the dreams, and without those there's no reason for him to move forward in an existence that lazily bounced from one loveless encounter to the next; it was well done, but successfully conveying a bone-deep ennui was not the most amusing of experiences. Music by Stanley Black.

[Network's DVD looks flawless, with a trailer and extended scenes as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2550 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
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
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: