Item Description
Very rare British crime caper revolving around a diamond robbery. Full screen with English audio

An excellent example of the transition that the British film industry was undergoing in the late-1950s. On one hand, its characters are working-class types who feel entrapped by their environment, much like the "Kitchen Sink" dramas that began appearing the following year. Likewise, Donner's interest in youth culture and on-location photography mirrors that of the Free Cinema directors. On the other hand, the moral compass of "The Secret Place" is aligned with the moderate views of Ealing, and poor Belinda Lee is saddled with outdated lines like "you really *must* stop" and "I'd be ever so grateful." (By the way, the gorgeous Lee acquits herself nicely in this rare dramatic role. She was used rather poorly by the Rank Organization.)

What I especially like about "The Secret Place" is its blending of genres. At its most basic level, it's a heist picture. The plot centers around a daring diamond robbery. The second half of the film, however, runs more along the lines of a boys' adventure tale, with young Freddie trying to foil the gang's plans -- not unlike Ealing's "Hue and Cry" (though with far less comedy). Yet the movie also presents us with a vivid and dramatic portrayal of a bombed-out London neighborhood and the interconnected lives of its inhabitants -- much like "It Always Rains on Sunday" and "London Belongs to Me." At heart, this film wants to say something about the bleakness of war-scarred London and the need its younger inhabitants have of escape to a better life.

Will play on any
DVD recorder / player manufactured since
2000.
Free
worldwide shipping included .