Simon Ashby is a wealthy psychotic who is is coddled by his aunt in their palatial mansion outside of London. One day, Ashby's long lost brother mysteriously arrives at the house. But is ... 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 »
Alec Graham is sentenced to death for the murder of his girlfriend Jennie, with whom he spent a weekend at the English country home of the parents of his friend Brian Stanford. Alec's ... See full summary »
Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother, who is in fact locked in an insane asylum, haunting her. Expelled ... See full summary »
Legal and illegal criminality. An American tourist with a boat is robbed by a gang of teenager boys, assisted by the leader's sister. But soon afterward she jumps to the victim's boat to escape her brother's incestuous jealousy. The couple fly together and is hunted by the entire gang. Both happen to enter high-classified military territory. There might be a third and atomic world war, after which no ordinary man could survive. But now and then children are born who are "naturally" radio-active and have cold blood. They might survive in the post-war world and carry on mankind. They are fetched and brought to an underground construction where they are educated by TV. They are told that they are on a space ship moving toward the earth, which they should eventually colonize. This military project seems to be a failure because of a high mortality among the children. - The military soon finds the gang. The couple finds the children and tries to help them to escape. This situation will ... Written by
Max Scharnberg, Stockholm, Sweden
Although submitted to the BBFC in 1961 the UK release was held back by almost a year after director Joseph Losey delayed making a requested censor cut which showed King beating Wells with his umbrella. Losey eventually made the cut and the film was released in 1963. See more »
(at around 38mins) When Neilson wrestles King to the ground, a person's shadow (cameraman?) can be seen to move on the ground next to them. See more »
Whoever I am, I'm not who you think... You never even asked my name!
With a figure like that, you don't need a name!
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I saw this recently on a late night "British Film Celebration" series, showing various odds and sods of yester-year. In some ways I wished I had videoed it now, as thinking about it afterwards (and thinking about it is certainly something you'll do)there's clearly something going on with the characterisation that was far more important than lets on at first. A second viewing was perhaps needed, certainly the characters don't seem quite fleshed out and when thinking about it I was wondering if that was the point. But here's what I mean by the characters:
The spiritually hurt "old/young" man played (and in fairness, perhaps
miscast) by MacDonald Carey, desperate in some way to "complete" himself; the numerous old English establishment/power figures, feeling out of time and place, as if powerless to deal with the worlds changes, still "in" power but somehow no longer; the devout artist, passionate about her work, which in itself is a little dehumanising (there is a great, heart rending scene, where she cries in agony as Oliver Reed destroys some of her art work, that will stay with me for a while); the young girl unable to "become" what she wants, perhaps of her "possessive" brother, who really genuinely wants to protect her from the evils of the world; the emotionless children, full of potential but ultimately radioactive and poison, and most of all the "angry young men" lead masterfully by Oliver Reed, They represent the irrational human, simply wanting to "be" and nothing more.
While trying to follow some sort of standard narrative, there seems to be something else going on in this film that is talking about a far wider, human theme with actually makes it much more of a "pure" science fiction/philosophical film than it maybe gets credit for. Yes, you can look at it at face value and ultimately see it as nothing more than a curious English B movie, but...
The film moves very slowly, but its shift from what looks to be a critique on teenagers turns into a science fiction film with a very gritty message about human survival and with its grim ending its something you tend not to see much in films, either then or now.
Perhaps I am reading FAR too much into the film, but cold war polemic aside there seems to be something far more rhetorical being said about "radiation" and the death of humanity/culture/civility. There seems to be comments made on how the individual deals with a world that can face potential catastrophic change at any moment which will deny you your very humanity and dignity. I'm not saying the film does this successfully, but nonetheless it's a very interesting "attempt" and well worth a little look.
Oh...and as for the "Black Leather, Black Leather, Smash, Smash, Smash" song. Well, it's interesting... Maybe there's a comment being made there too...about inanity? Perhaps I need to get out more.
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