A scientist, working with genetics, creates a creature that is capable of transforming back and forth between a giant Death Head moth and a beautiful woman. The creature masquerades as his ... See full summary »
An ex-con who's taken part in the robbery of a racetrack is caught and sent back to prison, but he won't tell his fellow gang members where he's stashed the loot. The gang kidnaps his ... See full summary »
Dutch painter Jan-Van Rooyer hurries to keep a rendezvous with Jacquleine Cousteau, an elegant, sophisticated Frenchwoman, slightly his elder, whose relationship with him had turned from ... See full summary »
When their ship docks the crew disembark as usual to pick up their lives in postwar London. For one of them his petty smuggling turns more serious when he finds himself caught up with a robbery in the City.
Scientists are looking for a man to send up to be the first man on the moon. A man immune to worry, disease and even the common cold. They think they have found him until the impossible happens at Woomera...
Shirley Anne Field,
Amidst the pub sing-songs and bombsites and with slums giving way to high-rise flats, life in Bethnal Green is changing for the Flints. Dad may decide to quit the docks and their daughter ... See full summary »
VIOLENT PLAYGROUND sees tough detective Stanley Baker assigned to a new role after falling foul of his boss; he's directed to head up a juvenile crime prevention scheme. Baldwin fears that his new role will be anything but interesting, but things turn out otherwise as a sub-plot involving an arsonist terrorising the streets of Liverpool becomes mixed up with the main story.
This is a gritty, ahead-of-its-time thriller that mixes social drama with a hard-hitting crime flick. It's surprisingly modern in feel, with tight, character-based drama mixed with action, ranging from car chases to hostage scenarios and of course one or two fiery set-pieces. Basil Dearden's black-and-white photography is crisp and clear and he makes sure to elicit strong performances from his cast members.
Baker is one of those underrated actors who sort of got forgotten about after his death, aside from his role in ZULU, of course, but he's very good given the right material and VIOLENT PLAYGROUND is perfectly suited for his talents. Baker is supported by an engaging cast, including Anne Heywood's love interest and Peter Cushing's priest, and it's worth looking out for future stars Tsai Chin and Freddie Starr in more minor parts. The best actor of the lot is David McCallum in a real star-making turn as the disturbed delinquent whose storyline propels the narrative. Altogether VIOLENT PLAYGROUND is a pacey and engaging piece of film-making which mixes drama and thrills in an effective way.
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