George La Main, just turned 17, suffers growing pains and is anxious to prove his manhood. That night, George’s adored father Andy is savagely beaten by sportswriter Al Judge. Traumatized and unable to learn why it happened, George goes gunning for Judge. His mission becomes an odyssey through the town’s seamy side, and his coming of age is more of a trial by fire than he bargained for. —IMDb
Joseph Walton Losey (January 14, 1909, La Crosse, Wisconsin – June 22, 1984, London) was an American theater and film director. After studying in Germany with Bertolt Brecht, Losey returned to the United States, eventually making his way to Hollywood.
While in Hollywood, Losey co-directed the original U.S. production of Galileo, by Brecht, with Brecht himself as the other co-director. Charles Laughton, who had worked with Brecht on the translation / adaptation, performed the lead role. In the context of that production, Losey also made a half hour film based on Galileo’s life.
During the McCarthy Era, Losey was investigated for his supposed ties with the Communist Party and was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studio bosses. His career in shambles, he moved to London, where he continued working as a director.
Even in the UK, he experienced problems: his first British film, The Sleeping Tiger, a 1954 film noir crime thriller, bore the pseudonym Victor Hanbury… read more
Emphasized by an impressive musical score, the beginning of The Big Night is near perfect : 17 years old boy Andy Lamain, just after having been bullied by his comrades, witnesses the beating of his own father in front of his friends. Between the son and the father, we are entitled to 10 minutes of mortifying scenes. In 1951, Joseph Losey, the director of The Servant (1963), the filmmaker of Humiliation, is already handling a theme he will visit again and again during his whole career. Now, the rest of The Big Night may disappoint a little some viewers with this study of the rites of passage Andy has to go through but, all in all, I recommend this movie.