Behind the Mask DVD
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Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst
Produced in 1958
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
A 1950s hospital drama that sees Michael Redgrave star alongside daughter Vanessa in her debut feature. Seeing them share the screen is pure magic, says Alexander Ballinger
Newly qualified surgeon Philip Selwood (Tony Britton) has it all: he’s engaged to Pamela (Vanessa Redgrave) and has just landed a top job at the hospital run by her father (Michael Redgrave). Young Philip is pretty handy with scalpel and sutures, as seen in two nerve-racking operations (shot in unflinching detail by cinematographer, Robert Krasker), but operating within the murky world of hospital politics is far less straightforward as Philip’s divided loyalties to fiancée, father-in-law and a troubled colleague (Carl Möhner) take him to the brink of professional and personal ruin.
This is meaty medical drama and it provides a fascinating flipside to the comic antics of 1950s hospital-set films like the Dirk Bogarde vehicles Doctor in the House/at Large/at Sea and Carry On Nurse. This is a must-see film for any fan of British cinema as it’s the movie debut of Vanessa Redgrave, whose performance has an ethereal quality akin to that of Grace Kelly. Also, it’s the only film in which she shared, if only fleetingly, screen space with her father, Michael Redgrave: pure screen magic.
Alexander Ballinger on 8th December 2011
Author of 33 reviews
A 1950s hospital drama starring Michael Redgrave, as well as his daughter, Vanessa, in her debut feature, playing the daughter of chief surgeon Sir Arthur Benson Gray (Redgrave) who is at loggerheads with the authorities over how the hospital is being run.
Length: 94 mins
Cat No: OPTD2347
Format: DVD Colour