The Angry Silence

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The Angry Silence
The Angry Silence FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Guy Green
Produced by Richard Attenborough
Bryan Forbes
Jack Rix
Written by Bryan Forbes
Michael Craig
Richard Gregson
Starring Richard Attenborough
Pier Angeli
Michael Craig
Bernard Lee
Music by Malcolm Arnold
Cinematography Arthur Ibbetson
Edited by Anthony Harvey
Distributed by British Lion Film Corporation
Release dates
15 March 1960
Running time
95 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £97,000[1][2]

The Angry Silence is a 1960 British drama film directed by Guy Green and starring Richard Attenborough. Screenwriter Bryan Forbes won a BAFTA Award and an Oscar nomination for his contribution (shared with Michael Craig and Richard Gregson). It was also entered into the 10th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

The film's theme is every man's right to his own individuality. It also offers a portrait of industrial relations in Britain during the time and raises important issues around relationships between employees, managers and owners. The story is about a factory worker who refuses to take part in an unofficial strike and is ostracised by the other workers as a scab. The man, Tom Curtis (Richard Attenborough), faces a painful dilemma when choosing between doing what is morally right—and the choice of his fellow work colleagues—and what is bidden by the rules. He is not persuaded to participate in the strike by violence, as some of the other dissenters, but is given the silent treatment instead. The film is a food-for-thought, provoking drama portraying humanity from a social perspective of group behaviour, and what happens to the one who doesn't follow the rest. And the price that we have to pay for individual freedom.[4] Some have raised doubts however about the politics of the film, particularly with regard to the needs or demands of the workers being trivialised.[5] Others suggest that the film is also a reflection of British working-class values at the time, such as an "Englishman's home is his castle".[6]

The film is also notable for the early appearance of several actors who later went on to become household names, such as Oliver Reed.



Kenneth More was initially considered for the lead role which Richard Attenborough played.[7]


By 1971 the film made an estimated profit of £58,000.[1] In 1997 Bryan Forbes estimated the profit at £200,000.[2]

After the film's release Richard Attenborough talked about how he went to a screening of the film before a union audience who although initially hostile warmed to the themes of the film.[8]


  1. ^ a b Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 pp 98-101
  2. ^ a b Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema, Metheun 1997 p193
  3. ^ " Awards for The Angry Silence". Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  4. ^ The Angry Silence (1960) Plot Summary at IMDb
  5. ^ Angry Silence, The (1960) at BFI Screenonline
  6. ^ Crowther, Bosley. Movie Review: The Angry Silence (1960). New York Times 13 December 1960
  7. ^ Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema, Metheun 1997 p36
  8. ^ Wright, Giles The Angry Silence at, 1 May 2013

External links[edit]