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Red, White and Zero (1967)

The White Bus (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 21 December 1979 (USA)
An impassive young girl is taken from her suicidal London life, back to her home in North England, on a bizarre bus trip. Seen through the poetic eye of the camera, this is a commentary of doomed British morbidity.

Director:

Lindsay Anderson

Writers:

Shelagh Delaney (screenplay), Shelagh Delaney (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Healey ... The Girl
Arthur Lowe ... The Mayor
John Sharp ... Macebearer
Julie Perry Julie Perry ... Conductress
Stephen Moore Stephen Moore ... Young Man
Victor Henry Victor Henry ... Transistorite
John Savident ... Supporter
Fanny Carby Fanny Carby ... Supporter
Malcolm Taylor Malcolm Taylor ... Supporter
Allan O'Keefe Allan O'Keefe ... Supporter (as Alan O'Keefe)
Anthony Hopkins ... Brechtian
Jeanne Watts Jeanne Watts ... Fish Shop Woman
Eddie King Eddie King ... Fish Shop Man
Barry Evans ... Boy
Penny Ryder ... Girl
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Storyline

An impassive young girl is taken from her suicidal London life, back to her home in North England, on a bizarre bus trip. Seen through the poetic eye of the camera, this is a commentary of doomed British morbidity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red, White and Zero See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Holly Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Black and White (Black & White and Color)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was originally intended as part of an anthology film, in the manner of such multi-director continental films as Boccaccio '70 (1962), which were very popular in the 1960s. Tony Richardson, Lindsay Anderson, and Peter Brook were each to direct a short film for this compilation, which was announced as being titled "Red, White And Zero". Richardson's film was called "Red And Blue", and starred Vanessa Redgrave and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.; Anderson's was "The White Bus"; Brook's (the shortest of the three) was called "The Ride Of The Valkyries", and starred Zero Mostel. However, the film was never released as the three-part entity originally intended. Richardson's contribution, which was a sort of mini-musical with songs by Bassiak, was press-shown in London, but got no cinema showings; Vanessa Redgrave did make a record of songs from the film. Brook's was shown once, years later, on British television, and then disappeared. Anderson's film actually got cinema showings in Britain and elsewhere, although not until late 1968, two years after it was made. It was released just before Anderson's biggest success in the cinema, If.... (1968). See more »

Quotes

The Girl: [when Mayor puts his hand on her knee, and starts squeezing] Do you mind not feeling my leg, please?
See more »

Connections

Followed by Ride of the Valkyrie (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Resolution der Kommunarden
Performed by Anthony Hopkins
Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht / Music by Hanns Eisler
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Uncoordinated Instinctual Trends
23 September 2011 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

When I think about The White Bus, I think about how thoughts and ambiance spontaneously go on, because they do here just as they do in a person's mind. When I caught myself, during and after watching it, trying to pigeonhole whether it was supposed to be a hallucination, pure free association or a stream of consciousness, I hearkened back to my first experience seeing a movie directed by Lindsay Anderson, If…., which was a more realistic story, yes, but had a dreamlike lack of reason or cohesion for its stylistic and visual changeovers. Likewise, The White Bus is just a chain of imagery. But what makes it a consistent piece? Somehow, it is. Because I followed it and enjoyed it.

Maybe that goes to show that "invisible style," the avoidance of indulgent cinematography because a movie exposing itself diverts from the story, is not limited to the traditional studio era. The furthest extremities of avant-garde filmmaking can still be engrossing on that very level despite being so exuberantly stylized and even seemingly fragmentary. Regardless, The White Bus, like If…., is a blurring of various lines.

Lindsay Anderson and Shelagh Delaney's The White Bus is a dreamlike film about a secretary who takes a bizarre trip, part of which is set on the eponymous means of transportation. The anonymous woman has an apparently monotonous life, which is disrupted by episodic departures of imagination featuring suicide, recreations of paintings, and slices of meat that abruptly run blood-red. Flanked by these visions are the minutiae of her real life, particularly as she starts a passage home to pop in on her family. She comes across an eclectic assortment of people, an adolescent extremely annoyed that his rugby team lost, a young man who proposes marriage, a lord mayor who takes pleasure in feeling her leg, and more as she traverses to sites reaching from a community center and a public library to a natural history museum and a civil defense display. Throughout, the girl upholds a pretense of apathy or disregard, even when proceedings grow fairly unreal, as when all of her itinerant companions become human dummies in the course of the civil defense exercise. Ultimately, she enters a restaurant and eats dinner while the owners stack chairs around her, shrouding her from view and grumbling about the boundless movement of work.

So we leave having experienced the incessant tide of observation, feelings, mindset and recollections in an uninterrupted, even rambling manner of visual soliloquy. But so many transitions and scenes lack outside motivation, and yet somehow have the characteristics of real experiences in that they're lucid, significant and seen in the objective outside world. Is that not hallucination? Could they be real perceptions that are delusional, accurately seen things and people given extra implications? People are frequently at odds with their necessity to be secure with themselves and their suspicions of and resistance to change and self-exposure, intentional or not. There is no linear premeditation, just spontaneous bounds and connections that potentially bring about new individual revelations and values: the sense of overtone and suggestion are a sort of thinking id. That's what I admire about The White Bus.


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