Challenge Week 34: The Long Memory

This is one of the few films I hadn’t heard of at all going into this challenge, even more surprising as it’s an older film, and a noir to boot! The trick is it’s British noir, and I’m not as familiar with that as I should be, so thank you for pointing me in this direction, Grant.

A rather complicated plot setup lands bright young Phillip Davidson in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, and when he gets out twelve years later, he’s no longer bright and young, but bitter and seeking revenge. A lot of the film is quieter than you’d expect, with Phillip spending time alone on a beached boat in a remote part of England and forming a tentative relationship with an abused barmaid in between trying to find the men responsible for his unjust imprisonment.


It’s probably too complicated for its own good (no joke, I was distracted when I first started watching it, got about 45 minutes in and had to restart completely because I had no idea what was going on – I paid closer attention the second time!), with a lot of characters and plots and subplots, but as long as I gave it its proper due, it was quite enjoyable and had a lot of quite good cinematography to help along the noir feeling, despite the British accents and generally bright and often rural settings.

Stats and stuff…

1953, UK
directed by Robert Hamer, written by Robert Hamer and Frank Harvey
starring John Mills, John McCallum, Elizabeth Sellars, Eva Bergh, John Chandos, John Slater

I’m ranking all my Challenge films on Flickchart (as I do all the films I see), a movie-ranking website that asks you to choose your favorite between two movies until it builds a ranked list of your favorites. Just for fun, I will average out the rankings and keep a running tally of whose recommendations rank the highest. When you add a film to Flickchart, it pits it against films already on your chart to see where it should fall. Here’s how The Long Memory entered my chart:

The Long Memory > I Was a Male War Bride
The Long Memory > La Dolce Vita
The Long Memory < Anna Karenina (2012)
The Long Memory < Les Miserables (2012)
The Long Memory > Transamerica
The Long Memory < Looper
The Long Memory > Once Upon a Time in Mexico
The Long Memory < Little Rural Riding Hood
The Long Memory < Shaun the Sheep Movie
The Long Memory < The Sting
The Long Memory < Thirst
The Long Memory < Vagabond

Final #780 out of 3699 films on my chart (79%)

It is now my #1 Robert Hamer film (but Kind Hearts and Coronets is too low), my #2 John Mills film, my #3 British Noir, and my #14 film of 1953.

The Long Memory was recommended by Grant Watson, a friend from the Twitter.

A few more screenshots…