Sunday, 20 October 2019


THE FILM 'TIME WITHOUT PITY' is an adaptation of Emlyn Williams' pot-boiler stage play entitled 'Someone Waiting', a 1953 psychological thriller, which is something of a curio if performed on a theatrical stage today. The great fictional focal English murder,  is rooted in a 1956 middle class, whose sayings and doings often strike a modern audience as more than faintly comic. BUT within the context of a cinematic drama, produced just one year after Williams's staged debut of the play, directed by an American motion-picture director, whose highly personal style was often manifested in films centring on intense and sometimes violent human relationships... it is something far more sinister and real.

A young man wrongly convicted of murder (Alec McCowen), and the last-minute hunt for the real killer by his dipsomaniac father (Michael Redgrave). 'TIME WITHOUT PITY' was the first time Joseph Losey had filmed under his own name, since the trauma of the blacklist, and it shows in the interesting play with clocks, for instance, indicating not just that Redgrave is racing against a 24-hour deadline to uncover the truth, but that his alcoholism was a way of making time stand still, by shutting out his responsibilities . . . to his son and to society

BY SHIFTING the emphasis from thriller to anti-capital punishment pleading, Losey also cleverly pulls on all threads of the plot, cranking up the cogs and dragging us all-in on the structure, the race against time and the whole thing slipping through the fingers of Redgrave's guilt ridden alcoholic, while the noose swings waiting too. The clever devise of letting the viewer KNOW who the true murderer IS,  makes the the whole thing even more interesting, as we watch the bullying racked up murderer sweat and twist his himself away from being exposed, the father fighting off his dependency on drink and the innocent son, sink further and further into hopelessness, in his dingy prison cell, praying his father doesn't fail him..again.  ! It is an undeniably powerful film. 

PETER CUSHING was to appear in another black and white crime drama, just  few years later for Hammer films called 'Cash on Demand' in 1962, where director Quentin Lawrence, would also apply similar tension triggers, but as much as 'Cash' delivers a sweet and justified ending, 'TIME WITHOUT PITY' deals with a much course and raw villain. Violence and murder against vulnerable women is one of the most frightening relations in the cinema crime family, and requires equally cruel and brutal comeuppance for the perpetrator in the end. So in quite a bit more than co star, here Cushing plays barrister Jeremy Clayton , who himself has no choice but to chase the clock too. Once again, as in 'Cash' Clayton plays on what was one of Cushing's  great strengths, 'fear and tension for himself, and/or of others'. 'TIME WITHOUT PITY' is also superbly shot by Freddie Francis, a director who Cushing would work with on a further eight films over the next twenty years. The film is conceived with a raw-edged brilliance, right from the brutal opening murder, that accommodates even the symbolism of a Goya bull, with the real killer (Leo McKern) finally cornered and goaded into a murderous/suicidal charge ..

UNLIKE HAMMER FILMS 'Cash on Demand' and 'The Naked Edge' (1961) with Cushing again playing another barrister and  Gary Cooper in sadly his last film, along with another thriller called 'Suspect' in 1960 . . 'TIME WITHOUT PITY' Cushing was still delivering on the gain he made on his tortured and broken Winston Smith in the BBC's 1984 in 1954, just three years before 'Pity'. Interestingly, 'The Curse of Frankenstein' was made the SAME year, as 'Time Without Pity' and in some ways could be said to have a more frightening monster.  A  working class man, who has worked his way up, to new money by grafting, but also by beating and crushing anything that gets in his way. Public position and cash, he thinks gives him the right and authority, to bend the rules, the law and to manipulate and abuse any woman who associates with him, certainly in his domain of his workplace. 

HOW INTERESTING that a film, produced by a man who was seen as an outcast in his industry over 65 year ago, manages to reflect the dangerous and often manipulative practices of many a powerful and trusted man, working with women in the workplace . .  the mirror might have been made in 1957, but sadly the chipped and flaking reflection we are seeing is today . .    

The good news about the INDICATOR premier release on blu ray of 'TIME WITHOUT PITY'  is it actually looks, VERY good and just as we hoped it would, when we first heard about this planned release a few months ago. So, visually it is WONDERFUL! Thankfully, the visuals are as they should be and at 1080P, the contrast is often deep, a nice layer through out. For a film from this period you would expect some grain, and what you see is totally in keeping with how a theatrical presentation of this release of a monochrome film would indeed look. It's HD, it's monochrome, and the results from that combination, trusting on a very well looked after print, are always impressive.

Indicator has used a linear 24-bit PCM mono track in the original English language.The soundtrack is clear, no buzz, no clicks. It IS very sharp.The score written by the late Tristram Cary, who also provided the musical scores for Hammer films 'Quatermass and the Pit' and 'Blood from the Mummy's Tomb', the 1955 classic 'The Lady Killers', Peter Cushing's 1963 'Violent Playground' and . . .as he was a pioneer in electronic music, having become inspired by his WWII Royal Navy training in radar, and built the first electronic studio at the Royal College of Music, was also instrumental in the invention of the synthesizer. ..  he wrote the music for 27 episodes of Patrick Troughton's 'Doctor Who' from 1964-66 ..  here provides a dramatic score for the often teasing tensions, threats and contrasting rumblings and then unexpected outbursts from a major bully and psychotic murderer. It's all there, can be heard and appreciated . .  Dialogue is also clear, no distortions when the audio is carrying high pitched vocals, and manages low background audio atmosphere, when dramatic mix of music and   action visuals drop suddenly. Overall, the audio is a very impressive and compliments the visuals. 

One of the first extras I couldn't wait to use, was the very interesting facility that allows you to play the film, while listening to a John Player Lecture from 1973, with director Joseph Losey himself! The 80 minute conversation with very knowledgable film critic Dilys Powell at the National Film Theatre, is a very entertaining treat to access on maybe a second viewing. Plenty here, on a career that was never dull, and full of its own dramas. But it's Losey's thoughts and experience on how, he looked for other levels in plots, scripts and characters, how he used the camera and blocked a scene, that I found most interesting. This is the man who worked with Bertolt Brecht and directed Dirk Bogarde in 'The Servant' and ' The Accident', I am all ears! Many viewers and collectors, may find this extra as a 'no bonus' and of 'little interest' especially as the recording was never intended for public use or broadcast, the audio quality is a little weak. Indicator flags this up, within its title menu. Personally, for me it's a certainly a gain. I am the kind of viewer that wants the lot. Whatever is available, include it on the extras. My purchase then viewing experience has always been to, if possible, without sounding like an anorak / geek, have a good-time and learn all I can about a film I have just shelled out, good lolly for! It's all part of the journey and the learning! So, for me this was no injustice, poor show or problem... I just turned up the volume. Simple.

IF YOU ENJOY extras that inform and educate too, then a new audio commentary with author Neil Sinyard, of 'British Cinema In The 1950's : A Celebration' maybe well 'float your boat' too! It's a neat and interesting extra too. I have always personally preferred, enjoyed packages of extras, that contain, what I haven't seen before, different. It doesn't have to be another menu of often seen press stills the size of postage stamps or another chance to see THAT grubby trailer that has sat on Youtube for the last eight years. No, give me, that grainy end segment of an film interview, found in a dusty vault or some long gone film collectors garage . . 'and you only have the last three minutes, out of the 20 that were shot? Fine. Let me SEE it!' I am your man! Which is why, I leaned closer to my TV when I came across the option for ' A vintage Horlicks malted-hot-drink commercial . . directed by Losey too! It's great 😀😃😉     Next is film maker, Gavrik Losey, son of Joseph Losey in a new 15 minute video interview entitled 'The Sins of the Father' where he details the making of 'Time Without Pity' and it's place in his father's impressive body of film work as a director, of reputation and who created often a different persective. The Indicator blu ray package also has a LIMITED EDITION and EXCLUSIVE  40-page booklet, with a new essay by Robert Murphy, Joseph Losey on Time Without Pity, Jeff Billington on the MacMahonists and Time Without Pity, an overview of critical responses, and film credits. This is LIMITED to just 3,000 copies.

SO IN CONCLUSION ..  The Indicator Blu Ray release of 'TIME WITHOUT PITY' ticks the box for very good 1950's tense drama, it's quality Brit Noir, it possess an excellent cast, Leo McKern and Michael Redgrave, are at different ends of a career, and BOTH fill that screen, with talent you just don't see today. This release also stands as a more than worthy addition to your Peter Cushing collection, this is a VERY good example of why critics 'kicked off a long running, biting their pencils and punching their type-writers' in what was a what they saw as a justified mega-strop, stating that Cushing had copped out of quality work, and slipped into the fantasy cinema market'! THIS was what Cushing actually excelled at, and what's more, he knew that too. Choices huh? If you have never, for whatever reason, never experienced a Joseph Losey directed movie, THIS is a very good place to start. Lastly, if you already own the dvd of the film, this is a very commendable upgrade... that I can assure you, won't be around long. Nope it's not a hard sell, it's a fact. Indicator is very lucky but deservedly so, to have earned themselves quite a LARGE and quite dedicated clientele . . collector's who buy in bundles, out of choice, predominantly just Indicator releases. Why? Check out their website or facebook page and you'll see past releases of very interesting releases in limited runs and copies. They SELL. 

PACKAGING is always of a very good standard, matching other releases . . collectors LOVE matching or colour coded spines of great quality cases and above all, specific and well researched sleeve notes and COVER ARTWORK. They very rarely drop the ball in their remastering, they are often exclusive but always... quite classy! 😉 That's why this release comes highly recommended . .

Marcus Brooks


Release date: 28 October 2019
Limited Blu-ray Edition (World Blu-ray premiere)

Following his blacklisting in the McCarthy HUAC hearings, director Joseph Losey (Eva, The Damned, Secret Ceremony) moved to the England in the 1950s. The gritty British suspense thriller, Time Without Pity was the first film he made in the UK under his own name.

In a BAFTA-nominated performance, the great Michael Redgrave (Goodbye Gemini, Connecting Rooms, Dead of Night) stars as an anguished father whose son is convicted of murder and languishing on death row. In a desperate race-against-time, he attempts to prove his son’s innocence whilst bringing the real murderer to justice.

With photography by Freddie Francis (The Elephant Man), and a superb supporting cast including Ann Todd (Taste of Fear), Leo McKern (X the Unknown), and Peter Cushing (Corruption, The Beast Must Die), Time Without Pity is brilliantly accomplished slice of Brit-noir, and a potent cry against capital punishment.

  • High Definition remaster
  • Original mono audio
  • The John Player Lecture with Joseph Losey (1973, 80 mins): the celebrated filmmaker in conversation with film critic Dilys Powell at London’s National Film Theatre
  • New and exclusive audio commentary with Neil Sinyard, co-author of British Cinema in the 1950s: A Celebration
  • The Sins of the Father (2019, 16 mins): filmmaker Gavrik Losey, son of Joseph Losey, discusses Time Without Pity
  • Horlicks: Steven Turner (1960, 1 min): vintage commercial for the malted milk drink, directed by Joseph Losey
  • New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with a new essay by Robert Murphy, Joseph Losey on Time Without Pity, Jeff Billington on the MacMahonists and Time Without Pity, an overview of critical responses, and film credits
  • World premiere on Blu-ray
  • Limited edition of 3,000 copies
    BBFC cert: PG
    Blu-ray Release Date: October 28th, 2019
    Transparent Blu-ray Case

    Blu Ray HERE! 

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