Nowhere to Go (1958 film)

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Nowhere to Go
Nowhere to Go (1958 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySeth Holt
Produced byMichael Balcon
Eric Williams
Written byKenneth Tynan
Seth Holt
Based onNowhere to Go: A Novel
by Donald MacKenzie[1]
StarringGeorge Nader
Maggie Smith
Bernard Lee
Geoffrey Keen
Music byDizzy Reece
CinematographyPaul Beeson
Edited byHarry Aldous
Production
company
Ealing Films Ltd.
Distributed byMGM
Release date
  • 2 December 1958 (1958-12-02)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$468,000[2]
Box office$460,000[2]

Nowhere to Go is a 1958 British crime film directed by Seth Holt, his directorial debut. It stars George Nader, Maggie Smith (receiving her first screen credit), Bernard Lee, Harry H. Corbett, and Bessie Love. After a criminal escapes from jail, his attempts to recover his stashed loot end in failure, as he is shunned by the criminal community and hunted down by the police.

Originally edited down as part of a double bill, the full-length version of Nowhere to Go was released on DVD in January 2013.

Plot[edit]

Paul Gregory (Nader), a Canadian confidence trickster operating in London, targets a wealthy Canadian woman in Britain to sell her collection of valuable coins. After meeting her at an ice hockey match, he sets about winning her confidence until she is prepared to give him legal control over the sale. He completes the deal without her knowledge, puts the money from the sale in a safe deposit box, and then deliberately waits to be caught by the police. Gregory plans on getting a five-year sentence, with time off for good behaviour, and then collecting his loot when he is released.

However, the judge makes an example of the uncooperative Gregory by handing down a ten-year term. Not wishing to spend so much time in jail, Gregory pays Victor Sloane (Bernard Lee), one of his associates on the outside, to help him escape. Almost immediately, things begin to go wrong. Fearing arrest, he is unable for the moment to recover the money from the safe. Sloane also now begins to demand more money, threatening him with violence, and Gregory is forced to retaliate.

Gregory tries to get help from his fellow criminals, calling upon an established code that exists between them. But when his former associate Sloane is found dead – accidentally having choked to death on the gag Gregory placed in his mouth – they refuse to offer him any assistance, as he is now too "hot".

With the manhunt rapidly closing in, he tries to escape with the help of Bridget Howard (Maggie Smith), a disillusioned ex-débutante and niece of a Chief Constable. She drives Gregory to a deserted cottage near her family's home in rural Wales. While in hiding, he witnesses the police arrive to question Bridget, assumes the worst, and flees again. Attempting to steal a farmer's bicycle, he is shot in the shoulder. He drives away in a stolen truck but crashes and passes out, where he is found by another farmer. Bridget tells the police nothing. She waits in vain for Gregory at the cottage, then walks into the distance.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was based on a novel by Donald MacKenzie. It was made at MGM-British Studios in Borehamwood, but put out under the Ealing Studios banner. Ealing had moved there following the sale of its own studio base in 1955. It was the penultimate Ealing release, followed only by The Siege of Pinchgut (1959). The film's director Seth Holt had been a long-term film editor at Ealing, and he was the last major beneficiary of studio head Michael Balcon's policy of promoting from within.

Reception[edit]

Nowhere to Go was the first Ealing film under the MGM arrangement not to get a standalone release. Instead, MGM cut it to 89 minutes and put it out in the UK on the bottom half of a double bill with the World War II submarine drama Torpedo Run. The pairing premiered in the West End on 4 December 1958, curiously at Fox's Rialto Theatre rather than one of MGM's two West End outlets. UK general release began on the ABC circuit from 11 January 1959.[3]

According to MGM records, the film earned $145,000 in the US and Canada and $450,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $242,000.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacKenzie, Donald (1956). Nowhere to Go: A Novel. London: Elek Books. OCLC 562102160.
  2. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  3. ^ Eyles, Allen (1993). ABC: The First Name in Entertainment. London: CTA-BFI Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-85170-430-2.

Further reading[edit]

  • Perry, George (1981). Forever Ealing: A Celebration of the Great British Film Studio. Pavilion.

External links[edit]