The Small Back Room details the travails of a troubled research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice, who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary girlfriend Susan, is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon.
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In a Lonely Place for Brits, so convincing in its portrayal of a wounded man who lashes out at the people who love him that its treatment can freely use clichés without feeling held back by them. All this, plus a climax to rival The Wages of Fear in how skillfully it augments mortal threat with human angst. The Archers' most overlooked film. 5 stars.
Marred only somewhat by the fantasy sequences, this is an othewise crisp and tight character drama played with considerable precision by Farrar and Byron (both overlooked by British cinema). The speed and crackle with which the two spar has an unsually contemporary feel about it.
3.5 A very unusual WWII movie. Quite modern depiction of a codependent relationship and struggles with addiction, combined with a thriller bomb plot. Somehow the two strands work together, though the emphasis on repairing Sam's wounded masculinity is a bit tiring. Sue is such a intelligent character that I wish she were also rewarded with a better job, instead of remaining a secretary and cleaning the litter box.
My very first experience with Powell & Pressburger, and I know that there's much more to come, but I'm still pleased with the beginning. Wonderful character work, great technical filmmaking, and the performances from Farrar and Byron more than carry things. There's a bit too much going on, though, and the quick dialogue gets lost at times.