12 October 2015 | a.lampert
Early British film highlighting homosexuality
Intriguing British drama about a priest, underplayed brilliantly by Anthony Quale, who also is a bit of a local football hero, tries to bring redemption to the local teddy boys, this being 1959, and appears to avoid women like the plague, the implication being, is he gay or not? It all comes to a head when the main thug, played by Andrew Ray, gets a girl pregnant, and after a tragic accident, is confronted by Quale who is then falsely accused of 'interferring' with Ray, a quaint 1950's way of saying he molested him. Sarah Churchill, who is perhaps a bit old for her role, she was in her mid 40's at the time, holds the key to his innocence in the matter and eventually it all plays out but we are left wondering still, was he supposed to be gay or not? I don't think we were meant to really know as it was 1959 and mainstream films only ever dropped hints back then. At one point, Percy Herbert, playing Andrew Ray's violent father says, ' We haven't got one of them in the parish have we?'. Apparently back then, it was alright to beat the hell out of your son with a strap, backed up by the local copper, but not to be gay, clearly a despicable state of being then. Nevertheless, very interesting to compare how things have changed, and I do remember when people thought like this, but best of all, a wonderful performance by Anthony Quale who hold the film together with some otherwise dodgy performances, like Cliff Richard's first acting role.