FACTOID # 27: If you're itching to live in a trailer park, hitch up your home and head to South Carolina, where a whopping 18% of residences are mobile homes.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Look Back in Anger

Look Back in Anger (1956) is a John Osborne play and 1958 movie about a love triangle involving an intelligent but disaffected young man (Jimmy Porter), his upper-middle-class, impassive wife (Alison), and her snooty best friend (Helena Charles). Cliff, an amiable Welsh lodger, attempts to keep the peace. Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... John James Osborne (December 12, 1929 – December 24, 1994) was an English playwright, screenwriter, and critic of the Establishment. ...


It was originally produced at London's Royal Court Theatre, with the press release calling the author an angry young man, a phrase which came to represent a new movement in 1950s British theatre. The play opened on 8 May 1956 and legend has it that audiences gasped at the sight of an ironing board on a London stage. Some critics accused Jimmy Porter of self-pity and the play of being callow and verbose, but the reviews reveal how much has changed: on BBC radio's The Critics, Ivor Brown began his tirade by describing the play's setting - a one-room flat in the Midlands - as 'unspeakably dirty and squalid. It is difficult to believe that a colonel's daughter, brought up with some standards, would have stayed in this sty for a day'. He went on to fume: 'I felt angry because it wasted my time'. It seems that critics such as the Daily Mail's Cecil Wilson - who felt that 'Mary Ure's beauty was frittered away on the part of a wife who, judging by the time she spends ironing, seems to have taken on the nation's laundry' - weren't terribly experienced at ironing. After all, Alison (played by Ure, who later became the second Mrs Osborne) ironed only during act one; in act two she made lunch. The critic who saw past this old-fashioned enmity was Kenneth Tynan who wrote 'I could not love anyone who did not wish to see Look Back in Anger'. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... The Royal Court Theatre is a non-commercial theatre in Sloane Square, in the Chelsea area of London noted for its contributions to modern theatre. ... Angry Young Men (or Angries for short) is a journalistic catchphrase applied to a number of British playwrights and novelists from the mid-1950s. ... // Recovering from World War II and its aftermath, the economic miracle emerged in West Germany and Italy. ... Serge Sudeikins poster for the Bat Theatre (1922). ... May 8 is the 128th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (129th in leap years). ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mary Ure (February 18, 1933 - April 3, 1975) was a British actress. ... Kenneth Peacock Tynan (April 2, 1927 - July 26, 1980), was an influential (and occasionally controversial) British theatre critic and author. ...


'I've an idea,' says Jimmy at one point. 'Why don't we have a little game? Let's pretend that we're human beings and that we're actually alive. Just for a while. What do you say?' Such remarks, said Kenneth Tynan's review, make the play 'a minor miracle'. All the qualities are there, qualities one had despaired of ever seeing on the stage - the drift towards anarchy, the instinctive leftishness, the automatic rejection of 'official' attitudes, the surrealist sense of humour (Jimmy describes a pansy friend as 'a female Emily Bronte'), the casual promiscuity, the sense of lacking a crusade worth fighting for and, underlying all these, the determination that no one who does shall go unmourned'. Alan Sillitoe, author of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner wrote that Osborne 'didn't contribute to British theatre, he set off a landmine and blew most of it up'. Alan Sillitoe (born March 4, 1928) is an English writer, one of the Angry Young Men of the 1950s. ... Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a British novel by Alan Sillitoe (his second, in 1958), a film starring Albert Finney, directed by Karel Reisz, adapted from the novel by its author, and later, in 1964, a success as a stage play, adapted by David Brett for the Nottingham Playhouse... The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a short story by Alan Sillitoe, as well as the name of the collection in which the story has been published. ...


Look Back in Anger was a strongly autobiographical piece based on Osborne's unhappy marriage to Pamela Lane and their life in cramped accommodation in Derby. While Osborne aspired towards a career in theatre, Lane was of a more practical and materialistic persuasion, not taking Osborne's ambitions seriously while cuckolding him with a local dentist. It also contains much of Osborne's earlier life, the wrenching speech of seeing a loved one die is a replay of the death of Thomas, Osborne's father. What it is best remembered for though, is Jimmy's tirades against the mediocrity of middle-class English life, personified by his hated mother Nellie Beatrice. Madeline, the lost love Jimmy pines for, is based on Stella Linden, an older rep-company actress who first encouraged Osborne to write. For other uses, see Derby (disambiguation). ...


Osborne began a relationship with one of the play's stars, Mary Ure and divorced his wife to marry Ms. Ure in 1957. The following year, the production moved to Broadway under producer David Merrick and director Tony Richardson. Starring Alan Bates, Vivienne Drummond, and Mary Ure, it would receive three Tony Award nominations including for Best Play and "Best Dramatic Actress" for Ms. Ure. Mary Ure (February 18, 1933 - April 3, 1975) was a British actress. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Broadway theatre[1] is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ... David Merrick (November 27, 1911 - April 25, 2000) was an American theatrical producer and director, associated with both musicals and dramas, brilliant successes and embarrassing fl ops. ... Tony Richardson (June 5, 1928 - November 14, 1991) was a British theatre and film director and producer. ... Alan Bates as butler in Gosford Park (2001) Sir Alan Arthur Bates CBE, (February 17, 1934 – December 27, 2003) was a British actor. ... What is popularly called the Tony Award (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award celebrating achievements in live American theater, including musical theater, primarily honoring productions on Broadway in New York. ... A Tony Award for Best Play has been awarded since 1947. ...


In 1958, the play was adapted for film and like the play was directed by Tony Richardson, seen as one of the new wave of British film directors who, like the "Angry Young Men," focused on working class themes. The movie version featured Richard Burton in one of his first starring roles, with Claire Bloom as Helena and Mary Ure reprising her stage role as Alison. The screenplay was written by Nigel Kneale. The film was nominated for both BAFTA and Golden Globe awards, although many critics felt Burton aged 33 was too old for the role of Jimmy Porter. Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Richard Burton CBE (November 10, 1925 – August 5, 1984) was a Welsh actor. ... Claire Bloom (born Patricia Claire Blume on February 15, 1931) is a British film and stage actress. ... Mary Ure (February 18, 1933 - April 3, 1975) was a British actress. ... Nigel Kneale (born Thomas Nigel Kneale on April 18, 1922 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, UK) is a Manx television and film scriptwriter, who has worked mostly in the UK. He is best known for his creation of the character of Professor Bernard Quatermass, who has appeared in three... The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), is a British organization that hosts annual awards shows for film, television, childrens film and television, and interactive media. ... The Golden Globe Awards are American awards for motion pictures and television programs, given out each year during a formal dinner. ...

Contents

Related terms

Kitchen sink realism was a recognisable English cultural movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. ... Angry Young Men (or Angries for short) is a journalistic catchphrase applied to a number of British playwrights and novelists from the mid-1950s. ...

Play synopsis

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Act 1 opens on a dismal Sunday afternoon in Jimmy and Alison's cramped attic in the English Midlands. Jimmy and Cliff are attempting to read the Sunday papers (plus the radical weekly, "price ninepence, obtainable at any bookstall" as Jimmy snaps, claiming it from Cliff. This is a reference to the New Statesman, and in the context of the period would have instantly signalled the pair's political preference to the audience). Alison is attempting to do the week's ironing and is only half listening as Jimmy and Cliff engage in the expository dialogue. The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ...


We learn that there's a huge social gulf between Jimmy and Alison. Her family is upper-middle class military, perhaps verging on upper, while Jimmy is decidedly working-class. He had to campaign hard against her family's disapproval to win her. "Alison's mummy and I took one look at each other, and from then on the age of chivalry was dead", is one of the play's linguistic gems. We also learn that the sole family income is derived from a sweet stall in the local market — an enterprise that is surely well beneath Jimmy's education, let alone Alison's "station in life".


As Act 1 progresses, Jimmy becomes more and more vituperative, transferring his contempt for Alison's family onto her personally, calling her "pusillanimous" and generally belittling her to Cliff. It's possible to play this scene as though Jimmy thinks it's all a joke, but most actors opt for playing it as though he really is excoriating her. The tirade ends with some physical horseplay, resulting in the ironing board overturning and Alison's arm getting a burn. Jimmy stomps off to play his trumpet off stage.


Alison and Cliff play a tender scene, during which she confides that she's accidentally pregnant and can't quite bring herself to tell Jimmy. Cliff urges her to tell him. When Jimmy returns, Alison announces that her actress friend Helena Charles is coming to stay, and it's entirely obvious that Jimmy despises Helena even more than Alison. He flies into a total rage, and conflict is inevitable.


Act 2 opens on another Sunday afternoon, with Helena and Alison making lunch. In a two-handed scene, Alison gives a clue as to why she decided to take Jimmy on -- her own minor rebellion against her upbringing plus her admiration of Jimmy's campaigns against the dereliction of English post-war, post-atom-bomb life. She describes Jimmy to Helena as a "knight in shining armour". Helena says, firmly, "You've got to fight him".


Jimmy enters, and the tirade continues. If his Act 1 material could be played as a joke, there's no doubt about the intentional viciousness of his attacks on Helena. When the women put on hats and declare that they're going to church, Jimmy's sense of betrayal peaks. When he leaves to take an urgent phone call, Helena announces that she's forced the issue. She's sent a telegram to Alison's parents asking them to come and "rescue" her. Alison is stunned but agrees that she will go.


After a scene break, we see Alison's father, Colonel Redfern, who has come to collect her to take her back to her family home. The playwright allows the Colonel to come across as quite a sympathetic character, albeit totally out of touch with the modern world (as he himself admits). "You're hurt because everything's changed," Alison tells him, "and Jimmy's hurt because everything's stayed the same."


Helena arrives to say goodbye, intending to leave very soon herself. Alison is surprised that Helena is staying on for another day, but she leaves, giving Helena a note for Jimmy. Almost immediately, Jimmy bursts in. His contempt at finding a "goodbye" note makes him turn on Helena again, warning her to keep out of his way until she leaves. Helena tells him that Alison is expecting a baby, and Jimmy admits grudgingly that he's taken aback. However, his tirade continues. They first come to physical blows, and then as the Act 2 curtain falls, Jimmy and Helena are kissing passionately and falling on the bed.


The final act opens as a deliberate replay of Act 1, but this time with Helena at the ironing-board wearing Jimmy's Act 1 red shirt. Months have passed. Jimmy is notably more pleasant to Helena than he was to Alison in Act 1. She actually laughs at his jokes, and the three of them get into a Music Hall comedy routine that obviously isn't improvised. Cliff announces that he's decided to strike out on his own. As Jimmy leaves the room to get ready for a final night out for the three of them, he opens the door to find Alison, looking like death. Instead of caring for her he snaps over his shoulder "Friend of yours to see you" and abruptly leaves. Music Hall is a form of British theatrical entertainment which reached its peak of popularity between 1850 and 1960. ...


After a scene break, Alison explains to Helena that she lost the baby -- one of Jimmy's cruellest speeches in Act 1 expressed the wish that Alison would conceive a child and lose it -- the two women reconcile but Helena realises that what she's done is immoral and she in turn decides to leave. She summons Jimmy to hear her decision and he lets her go with a sarcastic farewell.


The play ends with a major surprise -- a highly sentimental reconciliation between Jimmy and Alison. They revive an old game they used to play, pretending to be bears and squirrels, and we are left to assume that they live, if not happily, at least in a state of truce in the class warfare, ever after.


Movie synopsis

Look Back in Anger
Directed by Tony Richardson
Produced by Harry Saltzman
Gordon Scott
Written by Nigel Kneale
John Osborne
Starring Richard Burton
Claire Bloom
Mary Ure
Edith Evans
Glen Byam Shaw
Music by Chris Barber
Cinematography Oswald Morris
Editing by Richard Best
Distributed by Warner Brothers
Release date(s) 1958
Running time 98 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
IMDb profile
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The black and white film opens with a close up on Burton (as Jimmy Porter) playing lead trumpet in a crowded, smokey jazz club. Having finished to a vigorous round of applause, the impoverished musician walks home alone. It is not until seven minutes into the film that the first lines of dialogue are spoken. He tries to talk to his friend Cliff, sitting at a front row table, but his friend waves him off, being more intent on winning the affections of a woman. Tony Richardson (June 5, 1928 - November 14, 1991) was a British theatre and film director and producer. ... Nigel Kneale (born Thomas Nigel Kneale on April 18, 1922 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, UK) is a Manx television and film scriptwriter, who has worked mostly in the UK. He is best known for his creation of the character of Professor Bernard Quatermass, who has appeared in three... John James Osborne (December 12, 1929 – December 24, 1994) was an English playwright, screenwriter, and critic of the Establishment. ... Richard Burton CBE (November 10, 1925 – August 5, 1984) was a Welsh actor. ... Claire Bloom (born Patricia Claire Blume on February 15, 1931) is a British film and stage actress. ... Mary Ure (February 18, 1933 - April 3, 1975) was a British actress. ... Dame Edith Mary Evans (February 8, 1888 - October 14, 1976) was a highly regarded British actress. ... Glen Byam Shaw (December 13, 1904 - April 29, 1996) was a British actor and theatre director. ... Administrators, remember to check if anything links here, the page history (last edit) and any revisions of CSD before deleting. ... Warner Bros. ... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Jazz is a musical art form that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States at around the start of the 20th century, mostly popular in the 1920s. ...


Arriving home, he surreptitiously reads his sleeping wife's pocketbook and tries to interest her in making love, but she refuses to open her eyes. The next morning, with a train rattling past the open window, Jimmy wakes up and walks into Cliff's room. He complains of his wife's letters to her mother. Once everyone is awake, Jimmy tries to start an argument with his wife. Cliff tries to improve Jimmy's mood and end the argument, but horseplay leads to his wife's ironing board being knocked over and she burns her arm.


Jimmy and Cliff go off to run their sweet stall in the market place, while the wife visits the doctor. She tells him her own carelessness caused the burn. The doctor asks whether her husband knows that she is pregnant. She asks if it is "too late to do anything about it" (clearly a reference to abortion), and the doctor indignantly rebuffs her question.


Other meanings

"Look Back In Anger" is also a song written by British rocker David Bowie from his album Lodger. The band Oasis referenced it with their song Don't Look Back In Anger. It is also a phrase frequently used by Craig Charles on the UK Takeshi's Castle when announcing the 'Furious Flashback' ("and now we look back in anger..."). Look Back in Anger is a song written by David Bowie and Brian Eno in 1979 for the album Lodger. ... David Bowie (born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947) is an English Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and audio engineer whose work spans five decades. ... Lodger is a 1979 album by David Bowie. ... Oasis are an English rock band, formed in Manchester in 1991. ... Dont Look Back in Anger is a song by British rock band Oasis, written by the bands guitarist, Noel Gallagher. ... The cast of Takeshis Castle Takeshis Castle (風雲!たけし城 Fūun! Takeshi Jō) was a Japanese game show that aired from 1986 to 1989 on the Tokyo Broadcasting System. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Look Back in Anger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (982 words)
Look Back in Anger (1956) is a John Osborne play and 1958 movie about a love triangle involving an intelligent but disaffected young man, his middle-class, impassive wife, her snooty best friend and an amiable Welsh lodger.
Look Back in Anger was a strongly autobiographical piece based on Osborne's unhappy marriage to Pamela Lane and their life in cramped accommodation in Derby.
It is also a phrase frequently used by Craig Charles on the UK Takeshi's Castle when announcing the 'Furious Flashback' ("and now we look back in anger...").
Don't Look Back in Anger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (477 words)
"Don't Look Back in Anger" is a song by British rock band Oasis, written by the band's guitarist, Noel Gallagher.
For example, the line "Stand up beside the fireplace / Take that look from off your face" is taken from Peggy Gallagher's instructions to Noel when he would have his photograph taken next to the fireplace when he was a child.
An unhappy child, Noel would have to be told by Peggy to take the miserable look from his face, so as to produce a suitable picture.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m