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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Taut and impressive

Author: Marco Trevisiol from Melbourne, Australia
9 March 2015

This tense drama - about a disturbed man locked in his apartment room wanted by the police and seemingly in an untenable situation - is quite unusual in its structure.

Apart from the studio and title of the film, there are no opening credits. There is no background music and the film takes place in 'real time'. These are challenging restrictions for a film but director Don Chaffey does a largely splendid job.

The secret to the film's success is that it doesn't excessively focus on the central character (played by Richard Attenborough in his typically intense, brooding style) but places him in the context of the law, support organisations and ordinary citizens (represented by other tenants of the building).

The film deftly creates a range of characterisations who either want to help or apprehend 'the man upstairs' or just have him out of their way for their own personal reasons. It highlights how a character in the plight that Attenborough's is in is reliant on sensible, selfless and practical measures by those around him to not potentially ruin his life.

While not a classic, 'The Man Upstairs' is a fine film, worth seeking out.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A sort of "deja vu"...

Author: GUENOT PHILIPPE ( from France
11 November 2011

Once again,I won't tell the topic of this solid UK drama, Long Horn has done it very well on the summary line. I will just point out that Richard Attenborough gives here a powerful, outstanding performance as a lost soul, not a lunatic, but a character for whom the audience can't not feel some empathy...

But no user seem have noticed that picture is very similar to Marcel Carne's LE JOUR SE LEVE, starring Jean Gabin as the lead. And it is absolutely obvious; a blind man, only by hearing the dialogues, could tell the same thing.

That's all, folks. I have nothing to add.

Oh, yes, I think Don Chaffey's films are hard to purchase, but when you can make it, it's worth. I know this guy directed some AVENGERS TV series episodes.

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Overstayed its welcome

Author: malcolmgsw from london
22 February 2016

This a production from ACT the film technicians union who made 23 films between 1951 and 1962.The aim being to give employment to their members.It has to be said that most of the films were unmentionable and modestly budgeted.Given that this is not one of the best remembered of Richard Attenboroughs films,the film is mainly confined to the house and there is no music it could be said that the film conforms to type.At 84 minutes it rather lustrous it's welcome and it could be said that this would probably worked better as a TV play.British Lion often had a struggle to get its films booked on the major circuits so I think that any success for this film would have been limited.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Not that bad

Author: lucy-19 from London
21 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember liking this film. It takes place in a boarding house of the kind that no longer exist, where disparate characters were thrown together--making for a good story. But in this house everyone keeps themselves to themselves until the man upstairs precipitates a crisis. What will he do? Why has he locked himself in? Is he going to blow himself up? There are good cameos from characters like the landlady whose idea of a wash and brush up when woken in the night is to apply an even thicker coat of lipstick.

The tenants are helped to pull together by a feisty young woman (is she Australian?), but in the end Authority, in the person of a bossy army type, steps blunderingly in. Hmmmm - some kind of moral indicated.


This film is now available on VHS with The Angry Silence. Remarkably, it has no background music, and the action is in real time. When authority arrives in relays (social worker, police, more police, fire brigade, army) you expect one heroic figure to step forth and take over, but no - all they do is bicker among themselves, mainly about who should be giving orders. The social worker is sympathetic, but he wants to solve the situation on his own and resents being bossed by the police. Bernard Lee as the policeman is concerned for his injured sergeant and thinks this gives him the right to bluster and talk over everybody else.

The roomers, collected in the flat of the feisty young woman (Mrs Barnes), aren't much better. They all talk at once and at cross purposes, but eventually Mrs Barnes suggests that they should all go up in a body and stop the police using force. Mrs Barnes talks the Man into coming out and giving up his gun.

Yes, of course there's a moral and the collection of blundering authority figures is clearly meant to be farcical. The army type is ineffective rather than bossy, explaining in a public- school voice that what they really need is a riot tear-gas gun, but they're only for use abroad.

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2 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

The 35 Year Old Richard Attenborough

Author: Single-Black-Male from London, England
18 November 2003

Although Dickie Attenborough was appearing in some bold projects like this one, I didn't find any substance to it. I was disappointed with this film. It just dragged on wasting 90 minutes of my life. He needed to make his own films by this stage.

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