Sir Richard Attenborough plays Ernest Tilley, a man who lost his daughter in a hit-and-run accident. He tracks down the man responsible for the accident and boards the same plane, ... See full summary »
Four of W. Somerset Maugham's short stories are brought to the screen with each introduced by the author. In the first story, "The Facts of Life", a young man with great potential on the ... See full summary »
David Preston, a bank official goes missing for twenty-four hours and has no memory of the lost time, but when he learns that the steward of his local club has implicated him in a robbery, ... See full summary »
In 1848 NYC, a Frenchwoman visits exiled former French Marshal Thevenet to ask for his financial help in behalf of his French grandson but Thevenet's house staff schemes to kill him and take his fortune.
Stanley Baker and David McCallum had starred together as brothers in the previous years Hell Drivers. See more »
Scotland road school is set in Liverpool, but near the end of the film, after the classroom siege, when the priest is outside the school front, in the background you can see a London Trolleybus glide by. See more »
VIOLENT PLAYGROUND sees tough detective Stanley Baker assigned to a new role after falling foul of his boss; he's directed to head up a juvenile crime prevention scheme. Baldwin fears that his new role will be anything but interesting, but things turn out otherwise as a sub-plot involving an arsonist terrorising the streets of Liverpool becomes mixed up with the main story.
This is a gritty, ahead-of-its-time thriller that mixes social drama with a hard-hitting crime flick. It's surprisingly modern in feel, with tight, character-based drama mixed with action, ranging from car chases to hostage scenarios and of course one or two fiery set-pieces. Basil Dearden's black-and-white photography is crisp and clear and he makes sure to elicit strong performances from his cast members.
Baker is one of those underrated actors who sort of got forgotten about after his death, aside from his role in ZULU, of course, but he's very good given the right material and VIOLENT PLAYGROUND is perfectly suited for his talents. Baker is supported by an engaging cast, including Anne Heywood's love interest and Peter Cushing's priest, and it's worth looking out for future stars Tsai Chin and Freddie Starr in more minor parts. The best actor of the lot is David McCallum in a real star-making turn as the disturbed delinquent whose storyline propels the narrative. Altogether VIOLENT PLAYGROUND is a pacey and engaging piece of film-making which mixes drama and thrills in an effective way.
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