The Birthday Present

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The Birthday Present
Directed by Pat Jackson
Produced by Jack Whittingham
Screenplay by Jack Whittingham
Starring Tony Britton
Sylvia Syms
Music by Clifton Parker
Cinematography Ted Scaife
Edited by Jocelyn Jackson
Distributed by British Lion Film Corporation (U.K.)
Release date
  • 31 October 1957 (1957-10-31) (London)
  • UK (UK)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Birthday Present is a 1957 British drama film directed by Pat Jackson.[1] It stars Tony Britton as 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 sentenced to three months in jail - in the process losing his job. The second half of the film involves him rebuilding his life.

It 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]


External links[edit]