Fed up with the inhumane prison living conditions, a general prison riot breaks out, leading to hostage-taking, a stand-off with the guards and eventual negotiations with the prison administration officials.
This film is the story of the spectacular life and violent death of British playwright Joe Orton. In his teens, Orton is befriended by the older, more reserved Kenneth Halliwell, and while ... See full summary »
Cut off by the Japanese advance into Burma, Captain Langford (Stanley Baker) and his exhausted British troops take over an enemy-held jungle village. Despite the protests of an elderly padre ('Guy Rolfe (I)') and of war correspondent Max Anderson (Leo McKern), Langford orders Sergeant McKenzie (Gordon Jackson) to shoot two innocent villagers, thereby "persuading" a Japanese informer to surrender vital information. When the Japanese recapture the village, their commander uses Langford's own desperate war-born tactics in a similar effort to extract information from the British. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well, I was astonished by how good this film is. Made by Hammer Films in 1959 and despite being shot entirely on set in England it has a deep sense of the grime, heat and fear of the Borneo jungle during WWII.
What really holds it together and creates the powerful generator for this film is a gritty, un-theatrical,un-sentimental performance by Sir Stanley Baker. He creates a 3 dimensional character and (Amazingly for a top ranked star) never tries to get the audience to "like him".
Other fine performances from Guy Rolfe and Leo McKern make this absorbing film seem way too short. The director Val Guest struggled to have the film released without any soundtrack music and this really helps the atmosphere and leaves it up the the actors to create tension without music bailing them out. There are quite a few unexpected twists and surprises too.
The subject matter in 1959 was rather brave and controversial so well done Hammer! It doesn't seem to be available on DVD or Blu-Ray so that goodness for Stagevu otherwise I might never have seen this little gem.
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