Tiger Bay (1959) (Special... View large image

Film Details

Directed by: J. Lee Thompson

Produced: 1959

Countries & Regions: United Kingdom

DVD Details

Certificate: PG

Length: 102 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 17 May 2004

Cat No: 3711505973

Extras:
Anamorphic (16:9)
Languages(s): English
Hard of Hearing Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Screen ratio 1:1.78
Dolby Mono

Moviemail Details

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Tiger Bay (1959) (Special Edition)

Cast: John Mills , Horst Buchholz , Hayley Mills , Meredith Edwards , Megs Jenkins , Yvonne Mitchell , Rachel Thomas , George Pastell , Anthony Dawson , Marianne Stone , Paul Stassino , Marne Maitland , George Selway , Shari , Brian Hammond

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Polish seaman Korchinsky (Horst Buchholz) shoots his girlfriend dead in a fit of jealous rage. The murder is witnessed by 12-year-old... Read More

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Polish seaman Korchinsky (Horst Buchholz) shoots his girlfriend dead in a fit of jealous rage. The murder is witnessed by 12-year-old Gillie (Hayley Mills), who steals the gun in order in order to impress her friends. The police begin investigating the case, asking Gillie a series of questions, but at the same time a bond of silence is growing between the girl and the sailor. Directed by J. Lee Thompson (’Cape Fear’, ’The Guns of Navarone’), ’Tiger Bay’ marked the film debut of its young star, Hayley Mills.

Contemporaneous with The 400 Blows, this offers an interesting take on similar themes. Namely the loss of innocence and how a child sees the world. The location shooting gives a fascinating glimpse of Cardiff in the late fifties, with gloomy tenement blocks, children playing out in the street and newly arrived immigrants from the Caribbean. There's a delightful scene when Ginnie (Hayley Mills) watches a wedding party spilling out of a terraced house on to the street, moving her body to the calypso the revellers are singing. She beams, taking a simple delight.

The relationship between her and the Polish sailor who finds himself drawn into a situation of ambiguity is well developed. She serves to offer the prospect of redemption. The two characters share a night together as friends, the Bucholz character treating her as an equal. Her tomboyishness, her jeans, T-shirt and androgynous features serve to elide any eroticism.

The film is about imagination, how adults and children perceive the world differently and about how growing up means seeing the world in a particular way. Not the way you perhaps want to see things. Its about truth, what we mean by truth.

Serious themes, nonetheless addressed with humour. A delight for fans of British cinema and surely one of the best child performances on film from the then thirteen year old Hayley Mills.

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