Never Let Go
|Never Let Go|
|Directed by||John Guillermin|
|Produced by||Peter De Sarigny|
|Written by||Peter de Sarigny
|Music by||John Barry|
|Edited by||Ralph Sheldon|
|Distributed by||Rank Films
Continental Distributing (USA)
MGM (2005, DVD)
|7 June 1960|
Never Let Go is a 1960 British thriller film starring Peter Sellers and Richard Todd. It concerns a man's attempt to recover his stolen Ford Anglia car. Sellers played a London villain, in one of his rare straight roles.
Lionel Meadows (Peter Sellers) a London garage owner who makes extra cash dealing stolen cars, asks young petty thief Tommy Towers (Adam Faith) to steal a 1959 Ford Anglia. The car Tommy steals belongs to struggling cosmetics salesman John Cummings (Richard Todd).
Cummings, who needed the car to keep his job, becomes desperate. Put onto Tommy by a newsdealer who witnessed the crime, Cummings starts investigating the activities of Meadows and his associate Cliff (David Lodge). Meadows, disturbed by his inquiries, brutalizes the already-shaken newsdealer, who then commits suicide.
Despite being warned off by 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. He finds the weak link in Meadows' operation, his young girlfriend Jackie (Carol White) whom he 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 are not too bothered at helping him recover his car. Cummings is forced to take the law into his own hands.
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 and this reputedly led him to swear 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.)
Ironically, a number of other players in Never Let Go made their reputations in comedy; this is particularly so of Peter Jones who plays Richard Todd's ruthless boss.
A number of critics have been 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.
- Peter Sellers as Lionel Meadows
- Richard Todd as John Cummings
- 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
Much of the action takes place at Chichester Place, Paddington, and the Victory Cafe exterior shots were taken outside the corner shop at 2a Chichester Place. These 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 Hone Video on June 7th, 2005 as a Region 1 fullscreen DVD.
- 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 Timeout, London
- "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.