Washed-up vaudeville man and supreme egotist Laurence Olivier keeps the act going when he should probably just give up - off stage, he mistreats his pathetic wife, lifeless offspring, spirited but aging father and unpaid stage crew, looking out only for himself (he also manages to cheat on his wife and indirectly be responsible for his father's death). The whole film - based on the John Osborne play - reeks of glumness, so the tragedy that shuffles into the third act is perfectly expected, and frankly pleasant - for the first time, something actually happens that warrants attention. Olivier may be impressive in the lead role, but his character is really just a charlatan who deserves his comeuppance, thereby turning the film into a long wait for his downfall.
Director: Tony Richardson
Year Released: 1960