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I read all the user reviews first and disagreed with all their comments except with that of "writers_reign".This film is a "lot of old tosh".I have seen many Ralph Richardson (RR) movies and have generally liked most of his performances.The fault lies with the film producers hence I only awarded this film 2/10.I am now 67 and have seen many films from this period.The main faults of this film in my opinion are:
1.No evidence of a genuine working class vernacular "Geordie" accent for a drama set in Newcastle was noticeable from any of the actors.Thus it did not reflect enough of the local atmosphere in the North-East of England.As "writers_reign states, even the female lead, (Diana Wyngard), had a posh cut glass accent!.
2.As this is yet another claustrophobic studio bound production, the impression was more of a small village where everyone knows everyone else rather than a big city like Newcastle with a much more diverse ethnic mix to the population.The producers get up to a few tricks like actual newsreels of fires and stock footage of Newcastle but it did not convince or work, then we are back to dark moody studio interiors once again.
3.I get tired of the inevitable moral twist by the British Board of Film Censors at the time who decreed that every criminal must get his just deserts or surrender to justice.The anti-hero played by RR had a lot of my sympathy and it was a very tame ending to the film but that was the moral compass at the time.
4.A bunch of old harridans spread rumours about RR with which everyone and his dog agrees even forming a vigilante gang to attack his barber shop.What happened to the principle "everyone is innocent until legally proved guilty and why are people so ready to believe only rumours of guilt?
A very tame film by the producers.
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