Lindsay Anderson's adaptation of John Osborne's classic 1950s play LOOK BACK IN ANGER, stars Malcolm McDowell--the same actor who who played an angry young man in Lindsay Anderson's earlier film, IF . . . McDowell gives a restrained performance as Jimmy Porter. His outbursts seem more thoughtful, and less violent that of actor Richard Burton who plays Jimmy Porter in the 1958 film of the same name. McDowell's portrayal of Jimmy Porter makes him more of a sympathetic misfit, and less of a pathological misogynist. His wife Alison (Lisa Barnes), the victim of much of his abuse, looking and sounding like a young Vanessa Redgrave, gives a solid performance that follows and matches Jimmy's changing moods.
Although this is a filmed play, rather than a full cinematic treatment of the material, Anderson, who worked as a theatre director prior to entering film, uses multiple cameras and a good balance of full stage and close up shots to keep the action visually interesting. Focusing on the inner dynamics of the characters, Anderson directs them to find the wellspring for their characters' anger, thus retaining the play's timeless appeal. This gives it a more contemporary feeling and allows McDowell to give a more expressive, less volatile performance in this stagebound, but still effective film of one of the 1950s most influential plays.
Made-for-British tv adaptation of the John Osborne play, about Jimmy Porter, a selfish, very "angry young man" who feels the world is against him and takes it out on his wife, by seducing her best friend; a woman he originally despised.