An adaptation of Emlyn Williams' potboiling play Someone Waiting, about a young man wrongly convicted of murder (McCowen), and the last-minute hunt for the real killer by his dipsomaniac father (Redgrave). This was the first time Losey had filmed under his own name since the trauma of the blacklist, and it shows in the overstatement: the persistent 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, to society). By shifting the emphasis from thriller to anti-capital punishment pleading, Losey also strains the structure almost to breaking point. An undeniably powerful film, all the same, superbly shot by Freddie Francis and 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 (McKern) finally cornered and goaded into a murderous/suicidal charge.
Time Without Pity
Cast and crew