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Look Back In Anger [DVD] [1958]


Price: £28.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Mary Ure, Edith Evans, Donald Pleasence
  • Directors: Tony Richardson
  • Producers: Harry Saltzman
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Aug. 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BC9YOS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,647 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Richard Burton plays angry young man Jimmy Porter in Tony Richardson's screen-adaptation of John Osborne's ground breaking stage play. Jimmy, university educated, articulate and poor, is angry with almost everything and everyone from the government and the church to his long suffering wife (Claire Bloom).

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Simon Temprell on 10 May 2008
Format: DVD
I watched Look Back in Anger last night for the first time in many years. It is a brilliant play but rather difficult to watch due to the uncomfortable scenes of verbal abuse involving Richard Burton's character and his down-trodden, upper-middle-class wife who seems to spend all her time ironing and looking beautiful but down-trodden. Apparently John Osborne wrote this play based on his own unhappy marriage to Pamela Lane and their life in a dingy flat in Derby during the fifties.

It takes a lot of effort to see beyond the contemptuous, bullying veneer of Burton's portrayal of Jimmy and it would be easy to dismiss him as nothing more than a villain. But glimpses beneath his odious exterior include his obvious devotion to his old landlady and his support of an Indian market-stall owner who is ostracised for being a foreigner. By the end of the film it becomes obvious that Jimmy is severely `damaged' psychologically but we, the viewers, are left to draw our own conclusions as to why he is selling sweets on a market stall and living in such squalid conditions when he is university educated.

To my mind Claire Bloom's character, Helena, is the real villain of the play. The scene where Jimmy launches a vitriolic tirade against Helena, calling her an `evil-minded little virgin' she slaps him and there is a suspended moment of emotion as Jimmy clutches his stinging cheek. It is probably the most obvious point in the film and made me cringe a little but somehow they manage to get away with it.

The film was made in 1959 and the play opened in 1956 so it is now well over fifty years old. In today's age of psychotherapy and anti-depressants would Jimmy be a better person (a happier person) or was he better-off being angry and frustrated i.e. himself?
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lou Knee on 20 July 2007
Format: VHS Tape
Have long since lost the video I had of this film. Does deserve a DVD release in this country, most definitely, it does. It is British through and through, it made the Royal Court Theatre famous for putting on daring contemporary work, it made its young author famous, it certainly didn't hinder the careers of its actors, and it coined two new terms used by the media, 'Angry Young Man' and 'Kitchen Sink Drama'. And the only place you can watch this version of landmark British theatre on DVD is...America. Sounding like a familiar story, isnt it!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A. Peachey on 31 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
It is rare that I find myself moved to display my fondness for a film or book through an online review, but i cannot help but feel as though some of the other reviewers (cough, the only other reviewer, cough) have been...well, silly. First of all, this is a FILM ADAPTATION of the classic John Osbourne play. A film adaptation is an adaption of a play for a film - this is why it is called a film adaptation of a play. Indeed, the original character of Jimmy Porter is 25, and perhaps Richard Burton looks a few years too old to suitably entice the viewer into this belief, but come along now! - he is a brilliant actor; a truly brilliant actor particularly in this production! Such anger! Such Fury! Such...well, Jimmy Porterism! To describe such a style of performance as 'wooden' is overly opiniative to say the least. To say the most, it is downright wrong. Please forgive me for being overly opinionative, but forgive yourself, mr. 1-star reviewer, for forgetting the subjectivity of such a matter! This film is brilliant - a well directed, beautifully shot and stunningly acted piece. Bravo! Pip Pip! Tally Ho! Oh, i'm 20 years old by the way.
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By Flickering Ember TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 May 2010
Format: DVD
I originally watched this film, purely because of my love of black and white films and the 1950s as an era. Watching it opened my eyes a lot to the significance of the film and further research shows just how important it really is.

It was borne out of the Free Cinema movement of which Tony Richardson was a prominent figure. It questions The Establishment and peoples' place, as society seemed to be becoming restless and not willing to stay in their place, having always had it drilled into them just what this place was.

Although the cast are well-spoken, it also begins to turn the tide on the characters shown in films, ie the working classes are becoming less hidden, as they had previously been, at the behest no doubt of The Establishment.

Following on from this film, I found the book In Anger by Robert Hewison to be a fascinating further insight into this world of The Establishment at this time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By FAMOUS NAME VINE VOICE on 7 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
One of the most dramatic of the critically acclaimed kitchen sink dramas where it always seems to be raining.

This is a very dark and brooding picture dealing with an unsuitable marriage between the classes. A true classic that stars Richard Burton and the great Dame Edith Evans.

Burton is at his most good-looking here, and plays a somewhat bitter, insecure, but intelligent loser married to the downtrodden and love-sick 'Alison' (played by the beautiful Mary Ure who committed suicide in 1975) - then along comes her best friend (Claire Boom) as his second helping of 'top drawer'!

This movie is now fifty years old. I have not seen the re-make, but it won't be as good as this!

This melancholic picture also stars a young Donald Pleasence with a rare starring role for Gary Raymond
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