Never Let Go
|Never Let Go|
|Directed by||John Guillermin|
|Produced by||Peter de Sarigny|
|Written by||Alun Falconer|
|Story by||John Guillermin
Peter de Sarigny
|Music by||John Barry|
|Edited by||Ralph Sheldon|
|Distributed by||Rank Films
Continental Distributing (USA)
MGM (2005, DVD)
Never Let Go is a 1960 British thriller film starring Richard Todd, Peter Sellers and Elizabeth Sellars. It concerns a man's attempt to recover his stolen Ford Anglia car. Sellers plays a London villain, in one of his rare straight roles.
Lionel Meadows (Peter Sellers) is a London garage owner who makes extra cash dealing in stolen cars. Meadows buys log books from scrapped models, then has other cars corresponding to the log books stolen and the number plates replaced. He gives a list of the latest batch to young petty thief Tommy Towers (Adam Faith), which includes a 1959 Ford Anglia. The car Tommy steals belongs to struggling cosmetics salesman John Cummings (Richard Todd), who needs the car to keep his job. Also, he did not insure the car against theft and becomes desperate to recover it.
Put onto Tommy by a street newspaper vendor, Alfie Mervyn Johns, who witnessed the crime, Cummings starts investigating the activities of Meadows and his associate Cliff (David Lodge). Meadows, disturbed by his inquiries, brutalizes Alfie, who then commits suicide.
Despite being warned off by both Meadows and the police, Cummings persists in his attempts to recover the car, even when his wife (Elizabeth Sellars) threatens to leave him and take the children away. It transpires that since his demob from the army, Cummings has failed at several enterprises, though his wife has always been supportive. Cummings eventually finds the weak link in Meadows's operation, his mistress Jackie (Carol White), a teenage runaway whom, like Tommy, Meadows continually threatens and abuses.
Taking Jackie under his wing, Cummings sets out to prove that he is correct and that Meadows is a major criminal, stealing dozens of cars. He eventually convinces the police, but even then, they lack interest in helping him recover his car. Cummings finds he has to take matters into his own hands.
- Richard Todd as John Cummings
- Peter Sellers as Lionel Meadows
- Elizabeth Sellars as Anne Cummings
- Adam Faith as Tommy Towers
- Carol White as Jackie
- Mervyn Johns as Alfie Barnes
- Noel Willman as Inspector Thomas
- David Lodge as Cliff
- Peter Jones as Alec Berger
- John Bailey as Mackinnon
- Nigel Stock as Regan
- John Le Mesurier as Pennington
- John Dunbar as Station Sergeant
- Charles Houston as Cyril Spink
- Cyril Shaps as Cypriot
- Dorothy Gordon as Typist
- Mignon O'Doherty as Manageress
- Maureen Connell as Stores Girl
- Marianne Stone as Madge
Critical reception to Never Let Go was mixed. A 1963 review of the film in The New York Times was unfavourable, describing Sellers "grinding his way through the rubble of a drearily routine plot" and attributed his performance in the film, different from his usual comedic roles, to "That itch to play Hamlet, I suppose; a desire to change his pace, which Mr. Sellers has often proclaimed he likes to do". Sellers was unhappy with the reception that he received; this reputedly led him to decide that, in future, he would stick to comic roles. (His lead role in Waltz of the Toreadors is certainly comedic, although the film itself is best described as a drama.)
Several other players in Never Let Go also made their reputations in comedy, for example Peter Jones who plays Richard Todd's ruthless boss.
Some critics were more impressed with the film. One noted that "John Guillermin's direction is taut and has a degree of flair" whilst another praised the "persuasive" performances of Todd and Sellers.
Much of the action takes place in Chichester Place, Paddington; the Victory Cafe exterior shots were taken outside the corner shop at 2a Kinnaird Street. This and surrounding streets, which were also a location for scenes in The Blue Lamp (1950), were demolished in 1965 to make way for the Warwick Estate major housing redevelopment adjacent to Little Venice.
Never Let Go was released to DVD by MGM Home Video on 7 June 2005, as a Region 1 fullscreen DVD.
- "Never Let Go (1960)".
- "BFI Screenonline: Never Let Go (1960)".
- "Never Let Go (1960) - John Guillermin - Review - AllMovie".
- "HOW ADAM ROCKS HIS EVES". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 6 July 1960. p. 38 Supplement: Teenagers Weekly. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- Bosley Crowther (15 June 1963). "Never Let Go (1960)". New York Times. login required
- Never Let Go at britmovie.co.uk
- Never Let Go at Time Out, London