The Birthday Present

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Birthday Present
Directed byPat Jackson
Produced byJack Whittingham
Screenplay byJack Whittingham
StarringTony Britton
Sylvia Syms
Music byClifton Parker
CinematographyTed Scaife
Edited byJocelyn Jackson
Distributed byBritish Lion Film Corporation (U.K.)
Release date
  • 31 October 1957 (1957-10-31) (London)
  • UK (UK)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Birthday Present is a 1957 British drama film directed by Pat Jackson.[1] It stars Tony Britton as Simon Scott, a top toy salesmen returning from a business trip to Germany with a watch hidden inside a toy, intended as a birthday present for his wife Sylvia Syms. He is caught by customs, arrested, and the following day sentenced to four months imprisonment. The film explores several complex issues: problems in finding legal representation, the lack of competence and insensitivity of some solicitors, the day to day reality of prison life, as well as the financial and other practical difficulties in making an appeal against a relatively short sentence. Scott decides to drop the appeal and serve his time. After his release he loses his job, as his prison sentence has become widely known owing to a gossiping colleague. However, Scott rebuilds his life, with support from a loyal line manager, played by Geoffrey Keen.

The film also featured Thorley Walters and Ian Bannen in small roles.[2]


Critical reception[edit]

The Radio Times dismissed the film as "this doleful, overlong slice of surburban life":[3] while Allmovie called it "a bitter half-hour anecdote stretched to 100 minutes...Intended as a slice of raw realism, Birthday Present plays more like a cautionary social studies film";[4] but TV Guide concluded, "All-around fine technical efforts add a sense of authenticity."[5]


  1. ^ "The Birthday Present (1957)".
  2. ^ "The Birthday Present (1957) - Pat Jackson - Cast and Crew - AllMovie".
  3. ^ "The Birthday Present - Film from RadioTimes".
  4. ^ "The Birthday Present (1957) - Pat Jackson - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
  5. ^ "The Birthday Present".

External links[edit]