The right of every individual to be different from his fellow men is the theme behind this internationally-hailed, British production. The story tells of a man's dilemma when he refused to participate in an unofficial strike, where he works. While vicious, calculated violence brings the other dissenters into line, he goes it alone and is sent to Coventry (given the silent treatment) by his fellow workers. A stirring, thought-provoking film that portrays the human problems and high emotions generated when a man dares to act on the courage of his convictions and dares fight to keep his individual freedom. Written by
"The Angry Silence" can be read in two ways: one, it is a pretty accurate depiction of the way union relations were run in the late 1950s and the shadow of the far left; or, it is a propaganda piece for the far right and nothing like the truth. There are strong arguments for both camps to be correct.
What struck me about the film was the central performance from Richard Attenborough as the lone worker standing up against bullying and blackmail from his trade union colleagues. One scene in particular which takes place in the canteen is a masterclass in screen acting of its type, and there are also good scenes between Attenborough and his screen wife, played by Pier Angeli, and his work colleague and lodger, played by Michael Craig.
Bryan Forbes always seemed to be veering off in different directions with the various movies on his CV, and this is an odd one. Whatever your politics, it is a good film and provokes a reaction. Whether the reaction is one which matches the reality has to remain open to question.
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