Time Without Pity
|Time Without Pity|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joseph Losey|
|Written by||Ben Barzman|
|Based on||Someone Waiting (play)|
by Emlyn Williams
|Music by||Tristram Cary|
|Edited by||Alan Osbiston|
|Distributed by||Astor Pictures|
Directed by expatriate American Joseph Losey, after he was blacklisted in America due to McCarthyism, Time Without Pity was his second film in Britain and his first under his own name. The film stars Michael Redgrave, Ann Todd, Peter Cushing, and Leo McKern. It is also the second film of British cinematographer Freddie Francis, as director of photography (the British credit is simply "photography"). Joan Plowright appears briefly as a feisty chorus girl and Lois Maxwell, who played Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 James Bond films, also has a stand-out scene as a girl who can be bought.
David Graham, a recovering alcoholic, returns to England with only 24 hours to save his son, Alec, from hanging for the murder of Alec's girlfriend, Jenny Cole. A neglectful, absentee father who has missed the entire trial while he was in rehab in Canada, Graham discovers his son, awaiting execution, at first refuses to even see him and, when he finally does, he will not evince any hope for his case, let alone affection for his father.
His sobriety in constant jeopardy, Graham, for all his failings, never for a moment doubts his son's innocence, and begins a frantic last-minute effort to find the evidence that will save his son's life, if not redeem himself as a father. With the help of his son's steadfast lawyer, Graham desperately, and often ineffectively, investigates the circumstances surrounding the girl's murder, visiting first her furious sister who's on stage in a chorus line, then the home of a wealthy car magnate, Robert Stanford, where the girlfriend was killed and whose family has been the only real support Graham's son has ever known. Graham ricochets between potential allies, foes and new leads in order to learn who the real murderer could be, with suspects including Stanford's beautiful young wife, Honor, his even younger secretary, Vickie Harker, his adopted son, and Alec's best friend Brian, who allows Graham to see what his own misspent life looked like through his son's eyes.
With the Home Office on standby to receive any evidence proving Alec's innocence, Graham is forced to extreme measures to try to establish the real killer's guilt.
- Michael Redgrave as David Graham
- Ann Todd as Honor Stanford
- Leo McKern as Robert Stanford
- Paul Daneman as Brian Stanford
- Peter Cushing as Jeremy Clayton
- Alec McCowen as Alec Graham
- Renée Houston as Mrs. Harker
- Lois Maxwell as Vickie Harker
- Richard Wordsworth as Maxwell
- George Devine as Barnes
- Joan Plowright as Agnes Cole
- Ernest Clark as Undersecretary, Home Office
- Peter Copley as Prison chaplain
- Hugh Moxey as Prison governor
- Dickie Henderson as Comedian
- John Chandos as First journalist
- Vernon Greeves as Second journalist
- Arnold Diamond as Third journalist
- Julian Somers as First warder
- Aubrey Richards as Prison gatekeeper
Derek Winnert noted a "dark-hued, intense, intelligent and stylised 1957 British noir...imaginatively and cleverly made by Losey, who pushes both its artistic symbolism and its heart-felt anti-capital punishment message to the limit."
- Gardner, Colin (2004). Joseph Losey. Manchester University Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7190-6783-9.
- "Time without Pity **** (1957, Michael Redgrave, Alec McCowen, Leo McKern, Ann Todd, Peter Cushing) – Classic Movie Review 5844 - Derek Winnert". www.derekwinnert.com.