Look Back in Anger
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An angry young Englishman rages at his wife, mistress and life. Directed by Tony Richardson. From the John Osborne play.
Richard Burton was riding high in grandiose roles in Hollywood and on Broadway when he returned to Britain to portray trumpet-playing social dropout Jimmy Porter in Tony Richardson's adaptation of John Osborne's groundbreaking 1956 play. Burton's Jimmy works in a public market "sweet stall" where he rubs shoulders with the working class with a condescending air, while he takes out his contempt of bourgeois complacency at home on his spiritually whipped wife (a numb-looking Mary Ure) and her best friend (Claire Bloom). Burton is too old for the part of the self-loathing college grad, but his performance simmers with frustration and misdirected rage that masks the sad, vulnerable underside to his misanthropic swipes. The film became the opening volley in Britain's "New Cinema," a new wave of young directors, working-class themes, and social-realist style. --Sean Axmaker
Top Customer Reviews
When John Osborne tried to put into words - and he indeed succeeded! as the great theatre critic Kenneth Tynan so rightly pointed out - the deep frustration, sadness and sometimes furious rebellion of the young generation of the 50s (not so far away from the frustration and rebellion of the young generation of today, mind you!), he was incredibly lucky to find a hitherto unknown, rebelliously minded young Welsh actor to play the lead! Burton's tremendously energetic performance became a legend in no time, - and it was and is great to see that he managed to transfer most of that energy into the film version.
It is also great that the wonderfully subtle performance of Mary Ure lost nothing of its riveting intensity in the film, and how convincingly she succeeded in playing up to her partner! Miss Ure (who in my eyes until today is only being matched by Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange and Kate Blanchett) was an actress of great beauty and tremendous talent. Above all, she radiated humaneness and vulnerability, but also great inner strength, in her parts.
Claire Bloom does not quite match the leading performances, but is also very good as the intervening guest who at first hates, and later is fascinated by the husband of her best friend.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An important cultural document from 1959. We can praise "Look Back in Anger", both the play and even the movie to some degree, for blowing up conventional theater and film... Read morePublished 17 months ago by DVW
This movie was shot in my neighborhood when I was a kid in London.just wanted to see the old hood again.movie was o.kPublished on April 7, 2014 by wendy olive hobson
This film is one of the greatest movies ever made-if you have not seen it you are in for a great movie experiance. Read morePublished on November 13, 2013 by Tony Marquise Jr.
I though a classic would naturally be great, but this simply isn't. The story is contrived and implausible, and the acting is so overwrought you wonder if the director was on the... Read morePublished on March 2, 2010 by Alan Weiss
Both Richard Burton and Mary Ure make this move a must see, in my opinion. Burton is at his best.
It's a rather true-to-life story about a troubled marriage. Read more
Had read this dark play which was excellent - full of cutting, witty dialogue and complex characters. These actors brought it to life and did it proud. Flawless acting by all. Read morePublished on May 18, 2009 by Nancy Myles
This film is full of problems. The first problem is that Richard Burton is horribly miscast as the lead. Read morePublished on September 14, 2008 by Mark bennett
Based on John Osborne's excoriating play, Tony Richardson's "Look Back in Anger" burst onto the screen in 1958 with piercing dialogue reflecting the stultifying state of the... Read morePublished on June 26, 2007 by John Farr