Can two young boys overcome the worst the devil himself can deal out? Wishes are granted, but twisted as only the esteemed Mr. Dark can make them. Based on the Ray Bradbury novel. —IMDb
Jack Clayton (1 March 1921 – 26 February 1995) was a British film director who specialised in bringing literary works to the screen.
A native of East Sussex, Clayton started his career as a child actor on the 1929 film Dark Red Roses. He later worked for Alexander Korda’s Denham Film Studios and rose from tea boy to assistant director to film editor.
While in service with the Royal Air Force during World War II, Clayton shot his first film, the documentary Naples is a Battlefield (1944), representing the problems in the reconstruction of Naples, the first great city liberated in World War II, ruined after Allied bombing and destruction caused by the retreating Nazis. After the war Clayton became an associate producer on many of Korda’s films, then directed the Oscar-winning short The Bespoke Overcoat (1956) based on Wolf Mankowitz’s theatrical version (1953) of Nikolai Gogol’s short story The Overcoat (1842). In this film Gogol’s story is re-located to a clothing warehouse… read more
I'm glad that Bradbury novels often include a dichotomy between the characters of lightness and darkness, tyranny and freedom etc, in the form of a brief vocal argument between the opposing philosophies. In Fahrenheit 451, it was the chief fireman vs. Guy Montag. In this film (I haven't read the book yet), there is Mr. Dark vs. the librarian, where Mr. Dark articulates his perspective on darkness.
Unjustly maligned adaptation of Bradbury's classic may not completely capture the dark magic of the book, but still does a very good job of translating it to the screen. Some of the minor characters and subplots are underdeveloped, and the young actors playing the boys aren't the best, but they're backed up by a great cast of character actors and some impressive special effects. Definitely worth another look.
An awe-inspiring and affecting performance by Maggie Smith is the center of this emotionally powerful drama from director Jack Clayton.