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Tiger Bay 1959
Description: A Polish sailor and a young Welsh tomboy become unlikely allies after she witnesses him commit a crime of passion in the docklands zone of Cardiff. With its zone shooting and scenes of port town road culture, Tiger Bay presaged the cinema of the British Fresh Wave, while Hayley Mills’ starring performance won the 12 year-old a unique prize at the Berlin Movie Festival and launched her career.
Released: 14 Dec 1959 Director: J. Lee Thompson Writers: Noël Calef (short story "Rodolphe et le Revolver"), John Hawkesworth (screenplay), Shelley Smith (screenplay) Actors: John Mills, Horst Buchholz, Hayley Mills, Yvonne Mitchell Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
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Tiger Bay Reviews:

I was 2nd Radio Officer aboard the British cargo ship OSWESTRY GRANGE, which sailed regularly between the UK and the River Plate, from June 1958 until February 1959. At the beginning of October 1958, we were in Avonmouth (Bristol), when the "Tiger Bay" cast and team came aboard to movie the dock scenes, which were supposed to be in Barry. The ship's name was over-painted with the name LA PALOMA, and the white Maltese Cross on the funnel was transformed into a white square. When we sailed, we had to have our correct ship's name painted on boards, which were suspended over the bows, and only removed when filming was taking place. Our special funnel gotta have caused a lot of puzzlement aboard another ships.We then sailed up and down the Bristol Channel for a several days, while the filming of John Mills' comeback and boarding from the pilot boat, as well as the chase and jump involving the Hayley Mills character, took place. The jump was performed by a stunt woman, who was very much bigger than Hayley. It was a cold day, and the Bristol Channel looked very uninviting, but the stunt woman was cheerful and unperturbed. Fortunately for her, only one take was needed! The movie people, including John and Hayley Mills, were very friendly. Of course, we had no concept what it was all about.I didn't manage to see the movie until I was serving with the Zim Israel line, when it was shown in a cinema on Mount Carmel in Haifa in June 1960. I'd expected to see myself in the stage where the ship was leaving Barry docks (i.e., Avonmouth), but I'd ended up on the cutting room floor.I actually have the movie on DVD, and love re-watching it, because it's a really nice film, with an nice performance by Hayley Mills, and also, of course, because I can see my old ship again, and recall my youth and those fascinating days with the cast and crew.


When a sailor discovers his girlfriend has dumped him while he's been away, they argue, she pulls a gun, he gets it away from her, and then shoots her few times. A streetwise British woman from Cardiff, who does nothing but lie and cause trouble, is the only witness. She eventually befriends the Polish sailor and supports him hide. What could've been a cloying story--even perverse--is handled with impeccable taste and turned into a very moving, human tale. Cinematographer Eric Cross and his camera obviously adore Hayley Mills' 12-year-old face (her round, inquisitive eyes in particular); the scene-stealer is shown off to an wonderful advantage in her acting debut. Real-life papa John Mills (as the investigator of the murder) and Horst Buchholz are also fine. An intriguing, absorbing film, though with a somewhat padded conclusion. *** from ****


this is a hidden gem... quickly, the movie transports you to a various world, one of varying shades of gray, skies, people, emotions, degrees of truth.... the cinematography is surprising and new for a film that is more than 40 years old, the camera angles that say more in a one-second frame than a lot of films nowadays take mins to set up and then fail to do... there are no unique effects, but there are plenty of moods and thoughts carried on faces in close-up and in backgrounds that transport the storyline along.. hayley is great, the stage where she re-enacts the murder alone is worth watching the film for.. and buchholz also is fun to see and fully credible in how his heart has pushed him in methods he never thought he would go.... a very brave boy indeed..



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