Look Back in Anger

Critics Consensus

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92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,295
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Movie Info

Archetypal British "angry young man" Jimmy Porter (Richard Burton) is a college-educated bloke who can't seem to get any better job than working in a candy store. Jimmy's relationship with his wife Alison (Mary Ure) alternates between hugs and kisses when he's feeling good and verbal abuse when he's down on himself, which is often. Alison's best friend Helena Charles (Claire Bloom) advises Alison to escape her injurious marriage. Left with no one for a punching bag, Jimmy romances Helena. Having suffered a miscarriage, Alison returns, and Helena walks out of Jimmy's life. In keeping with its depiction of the dead-end existence of most of England's working poor in the late 1950s, nothing is truly resolved in Look Back in Anger. Playwright John Osborne (at that time married to Mary Ure) uses Jimmy Porter as a spokesman for Osborne's own spleen-venting harangues against the British government and class system. Not only did Look Back in Anger spawn a new genre of British social-protest films, but it also inspired two remakes, both filmed for television.

Cast

Richard Burton
as Jimmy Porter
Claire Bloom
as Helena Charles
Mary Ure
as Alison Porter
Edith Evans
as Mrs. Tanner
Gary Raymond
as Cliff Lewis
Glen Byam Shaw
as Cpl. Redfern
Jane Eccles
as Miss Drury
Ann Dickins
as Girl A.S.M.
Stanley Van Beers
as Stage Manager
John Dearth
as Pet Stall Man
Michael Balfour
as Picky Shopper
Nigel Davenport
as 1st Commercial Traveller
Alfred Lynch
as 2nd Commercial Traveller
Toke Townley
as Spectacled Man
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Critic Reviews for Look Back in Anger

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Look Back in Anger

  • Jan 31, 2009
    In spite of a sensational performance by Richard Burton the screen adaptation of Osborne's stage-play bogs down here and there. Still, Burton's fervor and zeal is reminiscent of what Brando was able to do in <i>Streetcar</i>.
    Randy T Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2008
    A british drama, said to be of the ?Kitchen Sink Drama? sub-genre. The film is based on a play and it shows it, it?s largely dialogue driven and could easily take place on one set. The film is mostly a character study about a young man who?s, well? angry. There are a lot of scenes of people yelling at each other, and the whole thing doesn?t really go anywhere. That said, the film has a real energy to it, the acting is fierce and it has a really raw stripped down look to it. I can?t say I?d love it in a vacuum, but it captured some kind working class anger of its time and I can see why it would become an iconic work.
    MJS M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 14, 2008
    Nothing special at all really. It was beautifully filmed though--especially that final scene. Richard Burton was as always great (despite the heavy-handed dialogue plopped upon him), Claire Bloom was gorgeous but all you're really in for is Richard Burton acting like a Grade-A asshole for about 2 hours. Story was kind of weak too, the more I think about it...
    Michael G Super Reviewer
  • Feb 06, 2008
    Has to be one of my favourites. Burton's performance is just amazing.
    Emily B Super Reviewer

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