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The Angry Silence [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Attenborough, Pier Angeli, Michael Craig, Bernard Lee, Alfred Burke
  • Directors: Guy Green
  • Writers: Michael Craig, Bryan Forbes, Richard Gregson
  • Producers: Richard Attenborough, Bryan Forbes, Jack Rix
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Momentum
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Jun. 2001
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B73M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,856 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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When his fellow workers decide to go on strike, a factory worker (Richard Attenborough) decides to go it alone and cross picket lines to work. The retribution from his fellow Union workers is quick and ugly. Ostensibly the film is about the rights of the individual versus the group mentality. Perhaps that's what the film makers intended but at it's heart, it's an anti-union film. I suppose what one takes away from the film depends on one's personal feelings regarding unions. Attenborough's character is a none too bright (otherwise surely he would have known what the consequences of his actions would be) working class bloke though, of course, he doesn't deserve what happens to him. The union officials are portrayed as conniving agitators preying on their uneducated dupes. A bit one sided to be entirely believable but the acting is good including Pier Angeli as Attenborough's Italian immigrant wife. The Oscar nominated screenplay is by Bryan Forbes and Guy Green directs. There's a strong score by Malcolm Arnold. With Michael Craig, Brian Bedford, Bernard Lee, Laurence Naismith, Geoffrey Keen, Marianne Stone and Oliver Reed.

The Optimum DVD is a fine looking wide screen (1.66) transfer.
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Filmed in Ipswitch during the post war economy boom, Richard Attenborough is Tom Curtis, a factory worker whose solidarity with his striking co-workers is challenged and ultimately broken by his boss. His decision is met with growing resentment from his colleagues. Very fine performances by Attenborough and Pier Angeli who plays his wife Anna.
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.
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Other people here have reviewed the social comment raison d'etre of this film, and I'll confine myself to the more cinematic aspects of it. It's worth saying, however, re the subject matter that while the particular trade union issue dealt with has now in Britain largely disappeared, and the fifties background nowadays has the air of a period piece, the wider theme of how a dissenting individual with his own point of view and belief is dealt with by a powerful majority is of course of timeless interest.

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.
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Now this is a film and a half from the sixties when the unions were at their strongest, it stars the late Sir Richard Attenborgh playing the part of a factory worker who stood up to the unions and whent in to work when all his mates were on strike.
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This is one of the 60s films which really portrays the atmosphere between unions and management at the time whereby ideas and policies are so set that they cause intransigence which culminates in the individual person ie Richard Attenborough's character workmen refusing to strike because the stoppage would cause hardship in his family. It is well acted by everyone and is worth watching and keeping. Things are very similar today. Excellent film.
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A true classic , gritty and without all the frills of todays movies the acting is superb and it grabs you from the off frightening in many ways when you think of how ordinary people can be so easily manipulated
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If you are a fan of Richard Attenborough, this film is one of his best. It concerns an ordinary factory worker, who is "sent to Coventry" for refusing to join a "wildcat" strike. It is not shown on TV so much these days, so it is worth buying.
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This is truly a five-star film, immensely powerful story dealing with a subject matter probably not understood these days. Real old-fashioned kitchen sink stuff. Tense and tough storyline about a family under pressure, even Tom Curtis's children. Richard Attenborough at his very best, with excellent performances from the supporting cast. Probably very under-rated but you won't be disappointed by this film. Look at for a very young Oliver Reed.
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