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West 11 (1963)

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This Michael Winner directed film looks into life at Notting Hill, London, then a seedy slum. A down on his luck Joe Beckett (Alfred Lynch) is recruited into crime by Richard Dyce (Eric Portman).



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfred Lynch ...
Kathleen Breck ...
Eric Portman ...
Kathleen Harrison ...
Mrs. Beckett
Mr. Cash
Freda Jackson ...
Mrs. Hartley
Peter Reynolds ...
Harold Lang ...
Marie Ney ...
Mildred Dyce
Sean Kelly ...
Patrick Wymark ...
Father Hogan
Allan McClelland ...
Mr. Royce
Gerry Duggan ...
Father Dominic


This Michael Winner directed film looks into life at Notting Hill, London, then a seedy slum. A down on his luck Joe Beckett (Alfred Lynch) is recruited into crime by Richard Dyce (Eric Portman).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 September 1966 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Apartamento de Solteiro  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Julie Christie and Suzan Farmer auditioned for the role of Ilsa. See more »


Referenced in The Great Vazquez (2010) See more »


Gettysburg March
Arranged by Ken Colyer
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User Reviews

Eric Portman proposes a murder to the aimless Alfred Lynch
19 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"West 11" is a realist-kitchen sink-noir directed by Michael Winner. Working from a play and sharply-written script, a portrait of discontented and unhappy people emerges, not through great accidents of fate that bring sorrow and tragedy but a pervasive unease and lack of fulfillment in ordinary lives of quiet desperation. The endless quest for happiness through partying, work, sex, family, monetary gain, religion and entertainment fails to defend against the demons of loneliness, aimlessness, and lack of meaning in life. Nothing seems to work or last long.

The hero is played by Alfred Lynch, a young man who goes from job to job and party to party, a fallen-away Catholic, who cannot find meaning in life and is tempted to find it through a crime. The tempter is Eric Portman, a seedy smooth-talking and fast-thinking liar and conman who poses as being more than what he is. He wants his rich aunt dead and a big inheritance, and Lynch appears to be ripe for manipulation. Portman has Peter Reynolds, a disturbing denizen of the area, follow him to size up his life.

Lynch has a girl he sleeps with (Kathleen Breck) in his walkup, in an apartment house run by a harridan with rules against women. Confused too, Breck likes to get men to fall in love with her. Lynch is having a very hard time finding any loyalty from her, but then how loyal is he? He goes with Diana Dors, a more mature woman who is lonely and aging.

In the mix is a sleazy snitch with the nickname "Silent", played by the always effective Harold Lang. Then there is a curious old man (Findlay Currie) who had a moment of disillusionment years before and now confines himself to his books and a search for truth. But he is anxious to find a companion and mirror image in Lynch.

Lynch tells his mother that no one knows why they do things, but she says she does. She has at least some degree of stability, bourgeois though it is, but is not really happy at not being a grandmother. The film manages to present a wide-ranging and acerbic portrait of social life, working in both strikers and football fans.

"West 11" slowly but surely builds up its character studies and social commentary of modern life using mostly ordinary incidents and needs, like Lynch's friction with his boss in a tailor store and his spats and frustrations with Breck. But Portman's character adds a deeper level of action to the mix that propels the story in its latter part.

"West 11" seems aimless at first, but it all comes together to make an incisive British noir belonging to the kitchen-sink movies of the 60s that began more or less with "Look Back in Anger" (1959) and continued with movies like "Room at the Top" (1959), "The Entertainer" (1960), "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" (1962), "This Sporting Life" (1963), and "This Is My Street" (1964).

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