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Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)

A new school teacher learns that the previous teacher was killed by his pupils, and he fears the same will happen to him.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Douglas Wilmer ...
Headmaster
...
Cary Farthingale (as Anthony Haygarth)
...
Silvia Ebony
Hamilton Dyce ...
Barbara Lott ...
Donald Gee ...
Stretton
David Jackson ...
Clackworth
Hubert Rees ...
Blisterine
David Auker ...
Tom Morris ...
Richard Gill ...
Borby
...
Bungabine
Nicholas Hoye ...
Tom Owen ...
Edit

Storyline

A new school teacher learns that the previous teacher was killed by his pupils, and he fears the same will happen to him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

if you're curious about terror ...

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1971 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Compañeros del crimen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

David Hemmings had clearly forgotten the climax to this film because in his autobiography he describes a totally different ending to the film. See more »

Quotes

[John Ebony's first day teaching. The students are taking turns reading from a history book]
Wittering: [faintly] hypotenuse... hypotenuse... hypotenuse
John Ebony: Who's that muttering?
Wittering: Me, sir.
Lipstrob: He can't help it, sir.
Cuthbun: He says 'hypotenuse' all the time, sir.
Ankerton: He likes the word.
Aggeridge: Mr. Pelham said he was 'hypotenus-ed' by it, sir!
[general laughter]
John Ebony: Stop it! Very well, you've had ample warning. This form will kept in on Saturday afternoon from 2:30.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, when the names of actors playing the schoolboys appear they are listed in alphabetical order according to the character's surname. This is so as to resemble the class's register. The character of 'Zigo' appears at the very end but as he never appears in the film, instead of an actor being credited, it merely says "Zigo....Absent". See more »

Connections

Referenced in F (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Angel Voices Ever Singing
(uncredited)
Music by Edwin Monk
Words by Francis Pott
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chilly and Disturbing
11 September 2006 | by (England) – See all my reviews

When a school teacher dies in an accident, his replacement quickly begins to suspect his students of murder.

Using its theatrical origins to claustrophobic effect, Unman, Wittering and Zigo very cleverly builds up layer upon layer of tension and menace, as Hemming's naive and idealistic Mr. Ebony is quickly and easily outclassed by his pupils, seemingly at every turn. Dismissed by his headmaster, and humoured by both his wife and a fellow teacher, Ebony is slowly ground into submission by the boys as they repeatedly claim to have killed his predecessor. However, when the boys attempt an assault on his wife as a way of further controlling Ebony, the web they have spun begins to unravel until eventually another tragedy forces out the truth.

Chilly and chilling, Mackenzie is well-served by his actors, both adult and juvenile. Hemmings captures just the right note of bewilderment and impotence, whilst Seymour turns the potentially thankless role of Mrs. Ebony into a striking portrait of independence, determination and naturalism - her performance during the attempted assault by the boys is quite brilliant. Standout amongst the boys are Hoye, Owen and Cashman, all conveying stonewall confidence collectively, whilst allowing just the faint trace of fear and uncertainty when separated from their classmates. Unsettling allusions to Ebony's ambivalence and a vaguely sexual response to his ordeal add to the mix, and only a slightly dissatisfying and unbelievable conclusion mar what is otherwise a deeply disturbing, grown up story. Highly recommended, if you can track it down.


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