Look Back in Anger

Date: 1959
Director: Tony Richardson
Production Company: Orion, Woodfall Film Productions

Stars: Richard Burton, Mary Ure, Claire Bloom, Edith Evans, Gary Raymond, Donald Pleasence
Location(s): Essex, London

Region(s): ,

Storyline:

A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson.

The wealth of information about the main street location in this film has been provided by Mike Griffin.

 

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If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.


  • 'Now' required

Jimmy Porter (Richard Burton) walks home after performing in a smoky jazz club.

Disregarding the late hour, the musician plays his trumpet in the street. Mike Griffin tells us "This was filmed in Isledon Road, looking towards the junction with Berriman Road from the vicinity of today's Parkside Crescent".

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Peter captured the spot and adds "The defunct pub to the right in the now shot was Fat Harry's the last time I visited, but it has had several names".

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A panning shot opens the scene on the following morning. Mike continues "I remember parts of the film being made in a street called Harvist Road, London N7. It has long since been redeveloped, but parts of the street follow the line of present day Citizen Road".

Jimmy wakes up next to his wife in the rooms they share with Cliff Lewis. "The church in the film was Saint Barnabas' built in 1866 and closed to worship in 1945. It was situated roughly where Citizen Road now bends towards the north west".

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Peter found the vastly redeveloped location. Swanson House stands to the right and Saint Barnabas' Church was at the end of the building.

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Rain pours down as landlady Miss Drury (Jane Eccles) opens the door to the paper boy. Looking out onto Harvist Road in Holloway N7.

Umbrellas protect the parishioners as they head to church. Mike advises "The day shown as being very rainy was actually warm and sunny and the Fire Brigade (a source of fascination for small boys of 4 or so!) were pumping hundreds of gallons of water over extras with umbrellas who scurried into the disused church". Patsy Robinson grew up in Shelburne Road, Holloway and has often told friends about this film being made, remembering Richard Burton dragging his raincoat along the street and the firemen pretending that it was raining.

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Peter took this comparison with Swanson House on the right and Lillington House rising behind. Patsy continues "The smaller children were instructed to rub muddy fingers on their faces so they would look poorer and grubbier. My friend and I were slightly older and I remember us pressing our noses to the glass of the little café round the corner in Hornsey Road where Richard Burton and Claire Bloom were sitting at a window table trying to have a peaceful break."

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A milk float passes through the Midland town's market. Market Place in Romford, Essex.

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The camera pans and finds stalls being set up. Simon Tasker tells us that this is facing the junction of North Street, South Street and High Street from Market Place in Romford.

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Facing Main Road from Market Place. The left background buildings have been replaced by Romford Shopping Hall.

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Traders pull stalls into position. Market Place in Romford.

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Jimmy and his partner Cliff Lewis (Gary Raymond) push their sweet stall across the cobbles. Market Place in Romford.

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The two men position the stall. Simon Tasker adds that "The market was cobbled on both sides with the London to Colchester road (A12) running through the middle".

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Ma Tanner (Edith Evans) arrives in town and comes to find Jimmy, who she provided the stall for.

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Alison Porter (Mary Ure) attempts to tell Jimmy about her being pregnant but can't seem to get his attention. The background pub is named 'The Greyhound'.

Jimmy accompanies Mrs. Tanner when she visits her husband's grave.The gas holders in the distance are also seen in ''Steptoe and Son Ride Again' and 'Afraid of the Dark'.

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The same location now. St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery on Harrow Road in Kensal Green W10. One gasometer down, one to go.

Together, Mrs. Tanner and Jimmy tend to the plot.

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This is St Mary's again, next to Kensal Green Cemetery in North West London. The two bridges are still visible.

At the station, Jimmy waves goodbye to his benefactor Mrs. Tanner. This is Willesden Junction (Low Level) station in Harlesden NW10.

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This is the station site now. In the distance can be seen the bridge carrying Old Oak Lane over the West Coast Main Line. (PW)

Racing pigeons are released as Jimmy makes his way from the platform. Willesden Junction (Low Level) station with Acton Lane Power Station in the left distance. The Main Line platforms were taken out of use and removed in 1962 when electrification of the route was taking place.

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The platform in the screen capture was in the centre of this image, beyond the nearest two lines. (PW)

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Market Inspector Hurst (Donald Pleasence) reluctantly gives a licence to new clothes trader Kapoor (S. P. Kapoor).

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The Salvation Army Band plays a rousing tune outside the lodging house. Mike Griffin explains "Harvist Road ran from Hornsey Road opposite Shelburne Road, following the same line as Shelburne Road, until it turned left and stretched to Tollington Road at the long demolished Globe public house".

Children run from school towards a 'posh' car they see in the street. Looking along Harvist Road towards the junction with Hornsey Road and Shelburne Road beyond.

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Peter took this shot from the east side of Hornsey Road looking along Shelburne Road.

Helena Charles (Claire Bloom) hugs Alison as she prepares to leave with her father. Mike Griffin continues "The building on the corner of the road, was the former parish school, opened in 1872 and run by the church until 1900/1901. It was then used by the London School Board as a temporary school until 1910 when it was finally closed. It remained unused and empty (apart from war work) until being demolished along with the church in 1966".

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Harvest Road passed roughly diagonally across the slip road from street lamp to the post trolley in the distance. Picture and information from Peter.

Colonel Redfern (Glen Byam Shaw) almost knocks Jimmy down as he drives his daughter home. Facing Tollington Road from Harvist Road in N7.

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Peter advises that this is the approximate route of Harvest Road towards Tollington Road with Hindley House on the left, Talbot House to the right and the Sobell Centre in the background.

Jimmy shouts at the car as it disappears. Saint Barnabas' Church on Harvist Road. Identified by Mike Griffin.

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The front of the church was on the right with the school out of shot to the left. Image from Peter.

Alison looks back from the car. The 90° bend on Harvist Road in Holloway.

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Peter advises that the school would be approximately at the centre of Lilington House and the church to the right.

Cliff runs as Jimmy approaches the house. Ahead is the junction of Harvist Road and Hornsey Road with Shelburne Road, Annette Road and the tower of Jones Brothers on Holloway Road in the distance. Almost all of the background buildings remain standing.

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In the distance, the old Peter Jones Tower is being refurbished. Image by Peter.

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A pregnant Alison sits with her father in the garden of the family home.

After Helena tells Jimmy about his wife's pregnancy, the two start an affair.

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This may well be the wrong direction but this is taken looking east in Vauxhall Park, SW8. SJ

The camera follows to couple as they walk through a park.

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The trees have grown and the bandstand gone but this is looking east and given old maps is in the right eastern direction. SJ

The shot settles on a statue and leaves the couple to carry on walking.

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And this is where the statue used to be, looking north. Where is it now? SJ - Peter answers Simon's question having established that it was destroyed in 1959. An excellent article on the "reasoning" and the "culprits" can be read at http://www.vauxhallcivicsociety.org.uk/history/henry-fawcett-missing-monument/ (RL)

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After Cliff decides to start his own business and leave the house, Jimmy and Helena wait at the station with him as locomotive 45027 pulls into the platform. This is Dalston Junction station in E8.

Jimmy storms off after he and Helena go for a drink in the station bar and see Alison sitting inside. Dalston Junction station opened in 1865 and closed at the end of June 1986.

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A rather different station opened in 2010. (PW)

Helena follows Alison after she reveals that her baby has been lost. Dalston Junction was located on the North London Line and was served by trains running between Broad Street and Richmond or Watford Junction.

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The steps leading down to one of the remaining platforms in 1986. Image copyright Nick Catford.

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After Helena decides to do the right thing and leave, Jimmy returns to the platform.

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As a train passes through, Jimmy sees Alison on the station footbridge. The whole Dalston Junction station site has been redeveloped and a new sub-surface station opened in 2010.

Alison waits as Jimmy climbs the stairs, and the two are reunited. The bridge over Dalston Junction station on Dalston Lane in London E8.

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Although not a 'now' shot, this picture from the Disused Railways website shows the location in December 1988. Image copyright Nick Catford.