What an exceptionally powerful film!
It was well worth the long wait I had to see it. I was expecting a lot, and it far exceeded those expectations. The way it showed just how quickly, and absolutely, a persons life can spiral out of control was just perfect. The message in it is as relevant today as it was 60 years ago.
The performances of all involved were amazing, with Peter Cushing giving a wonderfully understated performance as the priest. However, it was David McCallum who brought me to this film, and I must repeat the word 'Wow!'
Admittedly, I am more than a little biased, as David has been my favourite actor since childhood, but I defy anyone not to see the talent in this man; even in these early days. His characterisation of Johnnie Murphy was sublime, nuanced, and heart-breaking. Despite the terrible things perpetrated by Johnnie, David made me feel sympathy for him. I was hoping throughout that there would be a redemption for him. The character could have come across so differently in the hands of a lesser actor.
It's safe to say, I'll be giving this film many viewings.