HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  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 1581 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
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: