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Time Without Pity (1957)

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The Hollywood blacklist sent a lot of writers and directors packing and two of them made this film. Ben Barzman adapted the play by Emlyn Williams, and this is the film that first boasted Joseph Losey’s name as director since arriving in the UK. Earlier works were credited pseudonymously.  Michael Redgrave is the alcoholic novelist whose rehab facility has kept his son’s plight from him – it’s the eve of his execution for the murder of his girlfriend weekending with a friend’s adoptive parents. While years have passed for Redgrave in a haze of drink, time is now of the essence and he enters the London underworld to retrieve the situation, find the true murderer and save his estranged boy from the scaffold. Tension is the order of the day;  those clocks will keep ticking;  temptation rears its whisky head. Someone Waiting was a thriller:  this is stretched out to make a statement about capital punishment and the notion of self-abnegation is etched into Redgrave’s fine performance.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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