The film, and Clayton, are central figures in that social realism British new wave of the late 50’s and early 60’s that include the loneliness of the long distance runner (Tony Richardson’s work in general), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Pumpkin Eater (also from Clayton)—very anti-Hollywood and angry films—love them all
Won the Oscar for writing and Simone Sigoret- she won best actress and she’s terrific here
The first just outright reference to sex in British film and we also have the use of “bitch” in very harsh terms several times
The nom for Hermione Baaddeley is 2 min and 19 seconds of screen time- the shortest ever
A darkly funny but sexist scene where Harvey grades women—he’s quick-tempered and angry—the film borrow a lot from an American Tragedy and A Place in the Sun but Harvey isn’t half as likeable as Montgomery Clift (both in acting and character)
Very strong debut for Clayton
The war hovers on this film, the character, pessimism
Class struggle story
The scene where Harvey and Signoret park—we have a gorgeous tracking shot to them from the beginning of the car and then we have a close of their silent faces, in deep shadows, it’s a great sequence
Signoret is incredibly sexy and beautiful but also has a pain in her eyes- again- an amazing performance- both strong and tender and vulnerable but only under the surface
I wish Clayton had spent more time on Signoret and less on Harvey—the film drags a little without her and he’s not a great actor- though, like in Manchurian Candidate– he’s pretty well cast—he’s pretty cold and unsympathetic
A few times Clayton captures dialogue framing with faces just like Ingmar Bergman- love it
Clayton also frames and then reframes within the same shot several times—very well done
What do you think is Harvey’s single best performance this or The Manchurian Candidate?
@RujK- I am not a big admirer of Harvey- I’ll say The Manchurian Candidate but honestly I’d probably recast both.