Thursday, January 04, 2018

Hunted (1952): Dirk Bogarde and Jon Whiteley

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Tomorrow night at 22:20 Talking Pictures (Freeview 81) is showing the 1952 British film Hunted.

Thrill at an unshaven Dirk Bogarde on the wrong side of the law.

Break your heart at Jon Whiteley, the best British child star of the era.

Enjoy some great industrial landscapes, particularly in the Potteries.

As the blog Discovering Dirk Bogarde says:
The film starts off with a little boy (Jon Whiteley) running away from a burning house. He runs into an abandoned basement and finds Dirk Bogarde standing next to a dead body. Dirk Bogarde abducts the boy and sets out on the lam. 
The film is very dark and definitely has that distinct British post-war cynicism. But it's also incredibly touching. The little boy is an orphan, abused by his adoptive father. Dirk is a sailor with an unfaithful wife and a family that cares more about keeping up appearances than his own well being. Both neglected and hurt, the two forge an unlikely bond throughout the course of the film. 
I really love movies that show the human side of people who commit crimes. Too often a murderer or thief is portrayed in a completely evil light, with no reason, conscience or feeling. In this film, we see how Dirk Bogarde's character was led to commit his crime because of circumstances and environment, because of pride and honor. At heart, he is really a softy who just wanted a fairy-tale sort of life with the woman he loved.
Jon Whiteley, because he was retired early by his parents, avoided the unhappy fate of many child stars.

Growing up to become an art historian, he has worked at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford for decades.

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1 comment:

Jean said...

What a superb film what more can I say superb