The Angry Silence [DVD]
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Powerful drama about loyalties and the industrial workplace in early 60s Britain. Factory worker Tom Arnold (Richard Attenborough) does not share the same feelings as his fellow workers in a developing industrial dispute and refuses to go on strike with them. This results in him being 'sent to Coventry' by all concerned, including his best friend Joe Wallace (Michael Craig). The newspapers soon hear about this and the story becomes a matter of national concern, with many different parties trying to use Tom's stance to their own ends.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Optimum DVD is a fine looking wide screen (1.66) transfer.
Director Guy Green has created a very real drama in which you can readily imagine how life must have been in this British post war town. The dark and gritty atmosphere adds to the realism.
I thought the script was really solid and should have been given an Oscar. A lot of thought went into this gripping drama that will hold your attention all though till the end of the movie. You'll notice Oliver Reed who plays a small part as Mick and Michael Craig as Tom's friend. A movie worth seeing.
In cinematic terms the film was always likely to stand or fall on how well the wider social comment and the domestic trials of the strikebreaking Richard Attenborough integrate. In my view they do so pretty well, largely thanks to the presence of Attenborough, a fine character actor, though even he finds it tough to overcome the film's lurches into melodrama.
But there are problems. The direction lacks energy in that the picture maintains a steady pace throughout with no highlights bar the canteen scene where Attenborough flips his lid. There are a couple of visual highlights - a fine crane shot of the final union meeting, and a beautiful, seamless cutaway from Attenborough posed in his son's bedroom to his identically placed presence in the works' canteen. The script, too, struggles to avoid cliche, eg the works manager losing his temper wih the union man who telegraphs his response of: "Are you trying to threaten me?"
Acting is very mixed. Other than Attenborough, Geoffrey Keen as the works manager is as usual excellent, Alfred Burke in the small part of the infiltrated agent provocateur is suitably slimy, but the real problem is Pier Angeli (who incidentally committed suicide 10 years later aged 39) who looks and sounds as if she's walked in from a whole different type of film from Rome via Sunset Boulevard and failed to attend acting classes in either place. Just dreadful!
Well worth seeking out, but don't expect a classic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
AN excelent film totaly in tune with its time superb acting and good script well worth a lookPublished 9 months ago by geoffjamdan
A real great classic industrial action film very well worth watching with great acting and story linePublished 19 months ago by KMH