January 2, 2017


A Place to Go – 1963 | 86 mins | Drama, Crime | B&W


Plot Synopsis

A Place to Go

Predictable and this lacklustre crime melodrama based on the novel, Bethnal Green by Michael Fisher. This wistful parable charts a crucial series of events in the life of the Flint family who live in London’s Bethnal Green. The film features engaging if stereotypical characters and director Basil Dearden captures something of the flavour of the East End. Michael Sarne, one-time British pop star, has a admirable stab at the lead role, whilst Rita Tushingham and Bernard Lee do what they can with a weak script.

The changes in the East End are reflected in the Flint family. All long for a new freedom except Lil (Doris Hare). Matt (Bernard Lee), her unemployed dock worker husband turns to busking and their discontented son, Ricky (Michael Sarne) plans to break free of the poverty trap by one night of crime organised by a former friend of Matt’s. Jim (David Andrews), his brother-in-law, agrees to provide his lorry. Ricky plans to fix the alarm in the factory where he is employed, whilst Jim�s truck will be used to shift a lorry-load of cigarettes.

At the dogs Ricky meets Cat (Rita Tushingham), a witty and independent friend of Charlie Batey (William Marlowe), one of the gang of crooks. The unromantic setting of Ricky’s bomb site hide-out is their only place to go for an intimate encounter. Meanwhile, the Flint family home in Clare Street is in danger of demolition as part of slum clearance and the family moving to a block of flats. Jim backs out at the last minute and the raid misfires because Ricky fails to cosh a policeman. Charlie sets ablaze Jim�s lorry in revenge for the failed raid, and when the truck is discovered blazing during the night, Ricky gets badly burned whilst futilely attempting to fight the fire. Out of hospital, he goes looking for Charlie and fights him in a pub brawl until the police break it up. Next day he is bound over and the magistrate forces Cat to say they are engaged.

Production Team

Basil Dearden: Director
Bert Davey: Art Direction
Reginald H Wyer: Cinematography
John D Guthridge: Film Editing
Frank Turner: Makeup Department
Charles Blackwell: Original Music
Michael Relph: Producer
Clive Exton: Script
Michael Relph: Script
Bill Daniels: Sound Department
Gordon K McCallum: Sound Department
Les Wiggins: Sound Department


Bernard Lee: Matt Flint
Rita Tushingham: Catherine Donovan
Michael Sarne: Ricky Flint
Doris Hare: Lil Flint
Barbara Ferris: Betsy
John Slater: Jack Ellerman
David Andrews: Jim
William Marlowe: Charlie Batey
Michael Wynne: Pug
Roy Kinnear: Bunting
Norman Shelley: Magistrate
Jerry Verno: Nobby Knowles

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