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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Serious Charge (1959)

Terence Young (WAIT UNTIL DARK) directs this drama, a frank and adult topic for 1950s cinema. A juvenile delinquent (Andrew Ray) falsely accuses a minister (Anthony Quayle) of sexual advances. When his story is substantiated by a respectable woman (Sarah Churchill, Winston’s daughter) in retaliation for the vicar rejecting her sexual advances, he finds himself both a target and a pariah of the gullible small minded town. It’s an odd little mix of a film. Part social drama, part teenagers gone wild and part teen musical (50s Brit heartthrob Cliff Richard as Ray’s brother). Very strong subject matter handled frankly unlike much of American cinema at the same time. Sarah Churchill is particularly effective here as a sexually repressed small town spinster.

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