Fender is a lowly clerk in the warehouse of clothing manufacturers Ranting and Co. His one ambition is to have an overcoat of his own. Refused one by the cold hearted Ranting he asks a ...
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Screenwriter Jake Armitage (Peter Finch) and his wife Jo Armitage (Anne Bancroft) live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children ... See full summary »
Fender is a lowly clerk in the warehouse of clothing manufacturers Ranting and Co. His one ambition is to have an overcoat of his own. Refused one by the cold hearted Ranting he asks a tailor friend, Morry, to make him one instead, but dies of cold before he can take delivery of it. Unwilling to give up his only desire even in death, he returns as a ghost to persuade Morry to steal him the overcoat he so coveted in life.Written by
Opening credits: This film was awarded the Oscar by the Motion Picture Academy of America for the best short subject of 1956. It had previously received a similar award from the British Film Academy and a first prize at the Venice Film Festival. See more »
An elderly clothing store worker asks his boss if he could have a new coat to replace his old battered worn-out garment. He is denied this one wish by his cold hearted boss and so asks his tailor friend if he could make him one instead. His friend agrees to make one for cost only but, sadly, the old man is soon thereafter fired from his job and quickly dies of pneumonia. He returns as a ghost to his friend and they steal a coat from the shop, one that he considered his right given his many years of loyal service.
This short was directed by Jack Clayton, who would go on to helm important films such as The Innocents (1961), another film about ghosts although coming from an entirely different place. This small-scale movie actually went on to win an Oscar for best short film. It is very well executed with very good acting by all involved. It packs an emotional punch too, with its simple story about friendship and loyalty handled in a way that never goes for over sentimentalism and achieves its objectives by more subtle means. The moment when the old man disappears into the darkness is really a very sad moment indeed and it is done so simply yet so poignantly. A very good example of what can be achieved in the short film format.
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