A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.
Though like Marlon Brando, Richard Burton should have been way too old to portray a rebellious youth, he certainly overcomes it with a bravura performance. Burton saw the play on the London stage and went to author John Osbourne and told him he wanted to do the screen version.
For the screen version the producers had the good sense to hire Osbourne to write all the additional scenes needed for a film. The play as presented on stage takes place entirely within the apartment of married couple Richard Burton and Mary Ure. He's a lower class youth who's married well beyond his station. Class and station are quite a bit more rigid in Europe than they are here. He's got a dead end job with a peddler's license in an open air market.
In generations gone by the character of Jimmy Porter would have been off for adventure in some faraway place with a strange sounding name that the United Kingdom had as a part of its empire&commonwealth. But the empire is no more and British society as a whole was adjusting to it in the post World War II years. So all Mr. Burton can do is play his raging trumpet and take out his frustrations on all around him.
Mary Ure repeated her role from both the Drury Lane and Broadway productions and she and Burton are joined by a good ensemble with Claire Bloom, Edith Evans, Gary Raymond in the main feature parts. Also look for Donald Pleasance in an early role as an officious inspector at the market, the kind of bureaucrat you love to hate.
Although the UK is still around minus the empire, Look Back In Anger is a fascinating look back to post World War II Great Britain.
- May 28, 2006