Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch First Trailer for 'Roots' Reboot Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture' Watch: Sri Lankans of African Descent Fight to Keep Their Culture Alive in 'Kaffir Culture' Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Taraji P. Henson Will Topline Film Based on Story of Black Women Mathematicians Who Worked for NASA During the Space Race Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Enter The New Normal Writing Contest From Issa Rae's ColorCreative & Project Greenlight Digital Studios Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Missed It Last Night? Watch 'A Ballerina’s Tale' in Full Now Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Ava DuVernay Wanted for Two (2!) Major Sci-Fi/Fantasy Studio Projects (UPDATE: Lupita Nyong'o May Star in One of Them) Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Tonight: Nelson George's Misty Copeland Doc - 'A Ballerina’s Tale' - Premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Now Streaming on Netflix: Award-Winning 'Sand Dollars' (Dominican Republic's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Entry) Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend Jamie Foxx Will Play Little John to Taron Egerton's Robin Hood in "Progressive" Take on the Legend James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Madonna's 'Blonde Ambition' Dancers Tell Their Own Stories in New Documentary 'Strike a Pose' Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit Watch Episode 1 of PBS' New Civil War-Set Drama Series 'Mercy Street' + On-Set Visit LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' LeToya Luckett, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Andra Fuller Star in New TV One Comedy Series 'Here We Go Again' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

"Flame In The Streets" Coming Out On DVD Sept. 20

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act August 3, 2011 at 12:59PM

I wrote about this 1961 British film exactly a year ago, July 2010, on the old S & A website, and now it's been announced that it's coming out for the first time on DVD on Sept. 20, through VCI Entertainment (in it's original 2:35 Scope aspect ratio). I thought I would go back and repost what I said about it a year ago, since I think it's a worthwhile, but largely overlooked and forgotten film that deserves to be seen.
3

I wrote about this 1961 British film exactly a year ago, July 2010, on the old S & A website, and now it's been announced that it's coming out for the first time on DVD on Sept. 20, through VCI Entertainment (in it's original 2:35 Scope aspect ratio). I thought I would go back and repost what I said about it a year ago, since I think it's a worthwhile, but largely overlooked and forgotten film that deserves to be seen.

Directed by very prolific Roy Ward Baker, the film is basically what Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier (released six years later in 1967) might have been if it had the guts.

The film centers around an union steward in a furniture company (John Mills) who prides himself on being liberal and open minded and who oversees an integrated workforce at the factory. Though he seems to be somewhat oblivious to the racial tensions among his workers just boiling beneath the surface. When he decides to promote one of his long time black workers (Earl Cameron who is still today, at 94, a working actor) to forman, the white workers get upset and threaten to strike. Cameron, on the other hand, is reluctant to take the job fearing that it will exacerbate the already volatile racial tensions at the factory and give him nothing but grief.

But if that wasn’t enough, Mills’ daughter (Sylvia Syms) who works as a teacher, is currently involved in a romantic relationship with a fellow teacher who’s black (Johnny Sekka). Though they try to keep their relationship a secret, soon everyone finds out and Mills is forced to re-evaluate his open-mindedness. Things get pretty sticky, as you can see by the clip below, from the mother’s reaction, when she finds out. Needless to say, there was no way Hepburn was going to do a scene like this in Dinner:

But there are other problems as well. On top of the conflicts at work and at home, there’s a roving gang of ”teddy boys” terrorizing the neighborhood and harassing black residents. All this adds up to a powder keg that’s about to explode. But as the clip shows, what Streets has is a raw, edgy and perhaps honest quality to it that makes it far superior to Hollywood films of the 60′s that were dealing with racial matters, but in far too safe and easy way.

Compared to Dinner’s comfortable “Why can’t we all just get along?” homilies, Streets is bitter-tinged and uncompromising. And also unlike Dinner, there is no happy ending in Streets. Instead we get a brutal assault, and in the final scene, Mills, his family and the boyfriend are seemingly paralysed, confused and unsure of what to say or to do next.

The film is not perfect. The early scenes involving Mills and family are somewhat stolidly directed and strangely stilted, though it does get much better later on. Perhaps Baker intentionally shot the earlier scenes that way to provide a contrast to when the film becomes more dramatic and intense.

It's still however very much a film that deserves to be seen and perhaps one of the better British films of the period.

This article is related to: New On DVD


Shadow & ActNewsletter