The Face of Love (1954 film)

The Face of Love is a 1954 BBC TV movie produced and directed by Alvin Rakoff, and adapted from Troilus and Cressida as a modern-language and modern-dress drama[1] by Ian Dallas, a RADA graduate later better known as a scholar of sufism. This was only Dallas' second play, but won him a contract with BBC, where he stayed till the mid-60s.[2] The 90-minute drama was broadcast on October 5.

The Face of Love
Written byIan Dallas
Directed byAlvin Rakoff
StarringLaurence Payne
Mary Morris
John Breslin
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Production companyBBC
Original release
Release1954 (1954)

The TV film starred Laurence Payne as Troilus, Mary Morris as Cressida, along with John Breslin as Aeneas, Janet Butler as Philomena, John Charlesworth as Aidos, Maurice Colbourne as the Trojan statesman Pandarus, George Rose as Philo, a Trojan sergeant. The cast additionally featured Peter Cushing as Mardian Thersites.[3] It was noted by Cushing's biographer that "Cushing's fee for The Face of Love was 74 guineas. ... There was a general increase in BBC artists' fees, but Cushing's growing standing as a film actor must have given [his agent] John Redway extra clout".[3] The London Evening News reviewer commented "The acting of Mary Morris, Laurence Payne and Peter Cushing was among the best yet seen".[3] Donald Pleasence also made an appearance in the role of Alex, not named in Shakespeare's original play.

A year and a half later, in February 1956, Ian Dallas' play was staged by RADA at the Vanbrugh Theatre. The principal of RADA, John Fernald, gave the lead role of Troilus to a then unknown student, Albert Finney. This was Finney's first major stage role.[4]




  1. ^ "Alvin Rakoff". from Encyclopedia of Television Film Directors, p. 467.
  2. ^ Mark Sedgwick. Western Sufism: From the Abbasids to the New Age (2016), 019997764X p. 237 "His second play, The Face of Love, won him a contract with the British state broadcasting service, the BBC, where he worked until the mid-1960s, writing the scripts for three television series and a number of stand-alone plays".
  3. ^ a b c David Miller, The Peter Cushing Companion (2002), p. 45.
  4. ^ Quentin Falk. Albert Finney in Character: A Biography (1992), p. 23 "This was Fernald's production of Ian Dallas's The Face of Love, a modern-dress version of Troilus and Cressida."