Hamer Radshaw (Sir Michael Redgrave) rises from a Manchester slum to an important post in the British Cabinet but, along the way, his strong Socialist beliefs undergo modifications to the extent that, while maintaining them in principle, he diametrically opposes them in practice. His "spur" for prosperity and social status causes him to sacrifice his ideals and friends, including allowing his wife, a fighter for women's rights, to be jailed.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Conscientious tale of personal power, glory and standing
A British drama; A story about a man from a slum in Ancoats, Manchester who rises to political power, abandoning on the way his radical views for more conservative ones.
The film's title is a reference to the poet Milton's words about fame in his poem 'Lycidas', that all politicians seek to deny that they love popularity more than they love the people.
And so, in this film, an idealistic champion of the oppressed, a man from the slums rising to cabinet rank, is himself seduced by the trappings of power and finds himself the type of politician he originally despised. Michael Redgrave gives a grand performance, and embodies the gradual shedding of heartfelt beliefs as vanity replaces commitment.
The film will have appeal for those viewing the period between the 1810 and 1946 as an unjust period of British life, particularly the right of women's suffrage. More will observe that the trappings of power make anyone succumb to what Milton described as "That last infirmity of noble mind."
In the telling, the film is pedestrian and lacks humour in its binding but the production and direction is first rate.
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