Cast & Crew
Alec Graham is sentenced to death for the murder of his girlfriend Agnes, with whom he spent a weekend at the English country home of the parents of his friend Brian Stanford. Alec's father, David Graham, a not-so-successful writer and alcoholic who has neglected his son in the past, flies in from Canada to visit his son on death row. Alec repudiates his father's attempts for a final reconciliation. David Graham, convinced of his son's innocence and, despite his preoccupation with himself and his own alcoholism, mounts a last-ditch effort to find the true murderer in the 24 hours remaining until the planned execution. Graham encounters the wealthy and famous car manufacturer Robert Stanford, tyrant at home and in the office and an apparent womanizer, Stanford's young, curiously troubled wife Honar, their ill-at- ease son Brian, himself disturbed by his parents' relationship, and Vicky Harker, a young, brainless secretary at Stanford's factory who has been climbing up the career ladder at a rapid pace lately...
Time Without Pity on DVD
Time Without Pity is a crime thriller based on actor/playwright Emlyn William's stage hit, Someone Waiting. The film begins with the murder of a young woman at the hands of a wealthy industrialist (Leo McKern) and then puts the wrong man (Alec McCowen) on the execution stand. The father of the accused (Michael Redgrave) flies to London in an effort to save him, but as an alcoholic recently released from a Canadian hospital after an epic-drinking binge, his nerves are still shot and it doesn't help that everyone around him enjoys slogging the sauce and offering him glasses of the stuff. Whereas the play had the structure of a straightforward thriller that takes place after the execution and whose focus was on figuring out who the real murderer was, Losey and his producers significantly altered this in the film by revealing who the murderer is before the opening titles and leaving the audience with 24 hours before the execution, thus shifting the audiences attention from the "whodunit" angle to the more complex and swirling machinations behind the characters themselves. In part, this is a study on how different men react to the loss of power, the loss of a wife, the loss of virility and, ultimately, the loss of a son. Despite these grim scenarios, at the heart of Time Without Pity there is a hopeful and humanitarian message aided by the fact that Losey was staunchly against capital punishment under any circumstances. Adding to the suspense of fighting his son's impending execution is the constant fight Redgrave's character has against his alcoholic thirst - and, interestingly, Redgrave had real-life problems with alcohol but Losey credits him for never drinking while playing a drunk.
Pete Roleium and his Cousins is a stop-motion animation film featuring a collection of dancing and singing drops of oil meant to educate viewers on the many products that petroleum makes, like insecticide, suntain oil, nail polish, gum, and more. In Michel Ciment's Conversations with Losey book, the director says that it "was a half-hour film for the Petroleum World Fair Exhibition of 1939. That oil drop figure has remained a symbol of one of the oil companies - I think Shell - ever since... It starts on a bleak world, completely destroyed by war, and also destroyed by the removal of oil. The idea was to show that practically every product we live by these days has some element of oil in it. And the drops were so badly treated they vanished from the Earth. Then slowly they came up over the bleakness of the destroyed world singing a song `We are coming back if - you want us to come back!"
Home Vision Entertainment's dvd of Time Without Pity presents the film in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The black-and-white cinematography by Academy Award® winning Freddie Francis (Glory, 1989) benefits from a new digital transfer and uses shadows to great expressive effect (with one of many highlights being a drunk subway ride that is both nightmarish and disorienting). Also tossed in are filmographies for Joseph Losey, Michael Redgrave, Leo McKern, and a liner notes essay by Wheeler Winston Dixon.
For more information about Time Without Pity, visit Home Vision Entertainment. To order Time Without Pity, go to TCM Shopping.
by Pablo Kjolseth
Time Without Pity on DVD
TCM Remembers - Leo McKern
TCM REMEMBERS LEO MCKERN, 1920-2002
The recent death of Leo McKern, 82, marked the passing of one of Britain's finest and most respected character actors. He was suffering from ill health in recent years and was moved to a nursing home a few weeks before his death on July 23 2002 in Bath, England. An actor of commanding presence with a deep-throated voice, the portly, bulbous-nosed McKern had a long, distinguished career spanning more than half a century, earning numerous plaudits along the way in all major mediums: theatre, film and television.
Born Reginald McKern on March 16, 1920 in Sydney, Australia; he served with the Australian Army during World War II and worked in regional theatre in his native Sydney before immigrating to England in 1946. It was a slow start, but after a three-year apprenticeship of painting scenery, stage-managing and acting, McKern eventually joined the celebrated Old Vic theatrical company in 1949 and proved one of the more versatile actors in the troupe tackling diverse roles in comedy, the classics and serious contemporary parts.
His film debut came in Murder in the Cathedral (1952) but it took a few years before he made his mark in cinema. Some of his best film work included roles as Peter Sellers' comic henchman in the classic satire The Mouse That Roared (1959); a bungling train robber in the charming Disney film The Horse Without a Head (1963); a nefarious professor who kills off his colleagues for amusement in the brilliant black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964); Clang, a cartoonish villain in the Beatles' pop film Help! (1965); Cromwell, the persecutor of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1966) and as Thomas Ryan in the David Lean drama, Ryan's Daughter (1970).
Yet despite all the accolades McKern earned in theatre and films, it was television where he foundinternational fame as the wily, irascible barrister Horace P. Rumpole in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey in 1975. Infusing the character with beguiling skill and energy, McKern made the acerbic, wine swilling, Tennyson-quoting Rumpole a much loved figure that was adored by critics, audiences and even its creator Mortimer. Perhaps Mortimer offered the most fitting tribute when he once referred to McKern - "His acting exists where I always hope my writing will be: about two feet above the ground, a little larger than life, but always taking off from reality." Enough said.
By Michael T. Toole
KATY JURADO, 1924 - 2002
Katy Jurado, an Oscar nominee and major actress in Westerns, died July 5th at the age of 78. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on January 16th 1924 as Maria Cristina Estella Marcela Jurado Garcia, daughter of a cattle rancher and an opera singer. Jurado started to appear in Mexican films in 1943. After 15 films in her native country, director Budd Boetticher saw Jurado attending a bullfight (Jurado wrote about the subject for Mexican newspapers) and cast her in his Bullfighter and the Lady (1952), her Hollywood debut. For much of her career Jurado alternated between the two film industries. In the US, she was memorable for the sensual energy she brought to roles in High Noon (1952), One-Eyed Jacks (1961) which was directed by Marlon Brando, Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) and John Huston's Under the Volcano (1984). She was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for Broken Lance (1954). Jurado's Mexican films were in a broader range of genres and included Luis Bunuel's El Bruto (1952), Ismael Rodriguez's We the Poor and Miguel Littin's The Widow Montiel (1979). She won three Ariel Awards (Mexican equivalent to the Oscars) and one special award. She was married to Ernest Borgnine from the end of 1959 to summer 1963. One of her final films was The Hi-Lo Country (1998), a contemporary Western directed by Stephen Frears and co-starring Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup and Penelope Cruz.
by Lang Thompson
DOLORES GRAY, 1924 - 2002
Broadway and nightclub star Dolores Gray died June 26th at the age of 78. Her movie career was brief but consisted of high-profile MGM musicals which guaranteed her a place in film history. Gray was born in Chicago on June 7th, 1924 (and where, according to a common story, she was accidentally shot by a gangster as a child and had a bullet in her lung her entire life). As a teenager she began singing in California until Rudy Vallee featured her on his radio show. Gray moved to Broadway in 1944 and then to the London stage in 1947, solidifying her reputation as a singer/actress while constantly giving the gossip columnists plenty to write about. She had two small singing roles in Lady for a Night (1941) and Mr. Skeffington (1944) but didn't really light up the big screen until It's Always Fair Weather (1955) even though Gray reportedly didn't much care for the role. Her rendition of "Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks," which has her gunning down a slew of male dancers on-stage and kicking them through trap doors, is a genuine showstopper. Three more unforgettable musical roles quickly followed: Kismet (1955), The Opposite Sex (1956, which Gray turned down Funny Face to do) and Designing Women (1957). That was it for Gray's film career. She kept busy with TV appearances (mostly singing though she did one 1988 episode of the cult show Dr. Who) and a busy recording and nightclub schedule. In 1987, she appeared in a British production of Follies at Stephen Sondheim's request.
by Lang Thompson
TCM Remembers - Leo McKern
Released in United Kingdom 1957
Released in United Kingdom 1957