West 11

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West 11
"West 11" (1963).jpg
Directed byMichael Winner
Produced byDaniel M. Angel
Written byWillis Hall
Keith Waterhouse
Based onnovel by Laura Del-Rivo
StarringAlfred Lynch
Kathleen Breck
Eric Portman
Diana Dors
Kathleen Harrison
Music byStanley Black
CinematographyOtto Heller
Edited byBernard Gribble
Production
company
Associated British Picture Corporation
Angel Productions (as Dial)
Distributed byWarner-Pathé Distributors
Release date
  • 8 October 1963 (1963-10-08)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

West 11 is a 1963 British crime film directed by Michael Winner and starring Alfred Lynch, Kathleen Breck, Eric Portman, Diana Dors, and Kathleen Harrison. It is based on The Furnished Room (1961), Laura Del-Rivo's debut novel, which was adapted for the screen by Willis Hall and Keith Waterhouse.[1] Set in west London, the title is taken from the postcode W11, and it was filmed on location in Notting Hill.

Plot[edit]

In Notting Hill's jazz club, coffee bar and bedsit land of the early 1960s, Joe Beckett is a young unemployed misfit and drifter whose life takes a turn for the worse when he encounters Richard Dyce, an ex-army officer. Dyce persuades Beckett it will be in his interests to bump off Dyce's wealthy aunt for her money. Beckett travels to the old lady's house on the South coast, and prepares to murder her but loses his nerve and in a struggle, accidentally pushes her down a flight of stairs, killing her anyway. After a witness reports him, Beckett returns to his digs and finds the police waiting for him. Dyce denies all involvement and Beckett turns himself in.

Cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The Radio Times wrote, "Michael Winner's skirmish with British social realism shows what life was like in the bedsits of Notting Hill, years before Julia Roberts showed up. The script is mostly a series of loosely connected sketches, though the film's sole virtue nowadays is the location camerawork of Otto Heller that captures the then peeling and shabbily converted Regency houses that were riddled with dry rot and Rachmanism, which exchanged squalor for extortionate rents. Stanley Black and Acker Bilk's music adds a cloying note to a movie that rarely rises above basement level";[2] but Variety noted, "it has its merits. The sleazy London locations are very authentically shown. Perhaps too authentically."[3]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "West 11". BFI.
  2. ^ Adrian Turner. "West 11". RadioTimes.
  3. ^ "West 11". Variety.