Archive for May 6th, 2011

by Allan Fish

(UK 1960 97m) DVD1/2 (Netherlands/France only)

Aka. The Concrete Jungle

Nick Nack Paddy Whack

p  Jack Greenwood  d  Joseph Losey  w  Alun Owen, Jimmy Sangster  ph  Robert Krasker  ed  Reginald Mills  m  John Dankworth  art  Richard MacDonald

Stanley Baker (Johnny Bannion), Gregoire Aslan (Frank Saffron), Sam Wanamaker (Mike Carter), Patrick Magee (Barrows), Margit Saad (Suzanne), Noel Willman (Governor), Jill Bennett (Maggie), Nigel Green (Ted), Patrick Wymark (Sol), Laurence Naismith (Mr Town), Rupert Davies (Edwards), Tom Bell (Flynn), Murray Melvin (Antlers),

To say that British crime films needed a shot of adrenaline in 1960 is understating the point quite alarmingly.  The genre literally needed the sort of shot through to the heart given to Uma Thurman by John Travolta in a nineties film I needn’t name.  Compare it, for example, to the same year’s The League of Gentlemen, a rarefied, comic, light-hearted romp which, though well made, made one realise just how jocular the approach to crime in British film had become.  There had been attempts to bring it out of the dark ages and into the 20th century, but with the significant exception of the Boultings’ Brighton Rock, such efforts were only undertaken by émigré foreigners decamped to Blighty, such as Brazilian Cavalcanti’s They Made Me a Fugitive and Jules Dassin’s Night and the City.  Both those films are unjustly overlooked today, and the same is also true of this superior Joseph Losey thriller, which most British critics see merely as a vehicle for Stanley Baker.  Sometimes the myopia of professional reviewers does indeed beggar belief. (more…)

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