Review: ‘No Trees in the Street’

Ted Willis is a writer with a sympathetic eye for problems of the middle and lower classes. Again teamed up with director J. Lee Thompson, his No Trees in the Street plays out a seamy slice of life in a London slum 20 years ago. Film is played on a violently strident note. Willis hammers home the point that people are more important than places.

Ted Willis is a writer with a sympathetic eye for problems of the middle and lower classes. Again teamed up with director J. Lee Thompson, his No Trees in the Street plays out a seamy slice of life in a London slum 20 years ago. Film is played on a violently strident note. Willis hammers home the point that people are more important than places.

The slim story line shows how the various larger-than-life characters face up to the challenge of the Street. The drab blowsy mother (Joan Miller) who has given up long ago. Her daughter (Sylvia Syms), longing to get away from it with her young brother, but lacking the resources or the courage. The boy racketeer (Herbert Lom), who has made money by shady activities and now ruthlessly rules the Street.

Syms gives a moving performance as the gentle girl who refuses to marry the cheap racketeer just to escape. Lom, as the opportunist who dominates the street, is sufficiently suave and unpleasant. Stanley Holloway is a bookmaker’s tout with the cheerful philosophy that the world’s gone mad.

No Trees in the Street

UK

Production

Associated British. Director J. Lee Thompson; Producer Frank Godwin; Screenplay Ted Willis; Camera Gilbert Taylor; Editor Richard Best; Music Laurie Johnson; Art Director Robert Jones

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1959. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

Sylvia Syms Herbert Lom Ronald Howard Stanley Holloway Joan Miller Melvyn Hayes

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