Director Donald Crombie’s fourth feature, like his best-known works, Caddie and Cathy’s Child, boldly tackles an urban problem – rampant redevelopment by unscrupulous corporate manipulators. It is a powerful, hard-hitting and provocative story about corruption permeating the highest levels of society – the more so because it has a strong basis in fact.
The eponymous Angel Street consists of a row of old but charming terrace houses on the shores of Sydney Harbor, almost within spitting-distance of the famed bridge. An outwardly respectable development company, headed by a Knight of the Realm, wants to buy the homes, raze them, and erect high-rise apartments. Their methods of persuasion are far from subtle.
Then the crusty leader of the residents’ action group B.C. Simmonds (Alexander Archdale), dies under suspicious circumstances. His daughter, Jessica (Liz Alexander), takes up the cudgels, aided by Communists union official, Elliot (John Hargreaves), with whom she has a brief, if improbable romantic interlude. Their opponents are not simply the developers. The film depicts an unholy alliance between big business and government.