# Similar Movies Like The Secret Place
The Secret Place 1957
About: British Melodrama and crime thriller that follows a group of jewel robbers after a major heist. The movie makes extensive test of bombed out territories of London.
Released: 27 May 1957 Director: Clive Donner Writers: Lynette Perry (original screenplay) Actors: Belinda Lee, Ronald Lewis, Michael Brooke, Michael Gwynn Genres: Crime, Drama
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The Secret Place Reviews:

I gotta confess I'm a tiny surprised by the lackluster rating of 5.1 that this movie currently has on IMDb, because it's exactly the type of film that deserves reevaluation. Granted, it's no masterpiece. The plot isn't particularly innovative, and the dialog is clunky at times. Perhaps most disturbing of all, since director Clive Donner had been a top editor during the preceding decade, the pacing is too slow. (This type of film shouldn't run longer than 85 or 90 minutes.) But it's thoughtful and entertaining. And most importantly, it's an perfect example of the transition that the British movie industry was undergoing in the late-1950s. On one hand, its characters are working-class types who feel entrapped by their environment, much like the "Kitchen Sink" dramas that began appearing the following year. Likewise, Donner's interest in youth culture and on-location photography mirrors that of the Gratis Cinema directors. On the another hand, the moral compass of "The Secret Place" is aligned with the moderate views of Ealing, and terrible Belinda Lee is saddled with outdated lines like "you really *must* stop" and "I'd be ever so grateful." (By the way, the superb Lee acquits herself nicely in this rare dramatic role. She was used rather poorly by the Rank Organization.)What I especially like about "The Secret Place" is its blending of genres. At its most primary level, it's a heist picture. The plot centers around a daring diamond robbery. The second half of the film, however, runs more along the lines of a boys' journey tale, with young Freddie trying to foil the gang's plans -- not unlike Ealing's "Hue and Cry" (though with far less comedy). Yet the film also presents us with a vivid and dramatic portrayal of a bombed-out London neighborhood and the interconnected lives of its inhabitants -- much like "It Everytime Rains on Sunday" and "London Belongs to Me." At heart, this movie wants to tell something about the bleakness of war-scarred London and the need its younger inhabitants have of escape to a better life. A brief interlude that occurs when Molly and Gerry visit a modern flat they hope to purchase with their share of the loot provides subtle but pretty motivation for their actions.As the another reviewer points out, most viewers will be interested to see a very young David McCallum in one of his earliest roles, and as I've already mentioned, this film offers a rare glimpse of Belinda Lee tackling a role that wasn't beneath her. But the true eye-opener is Michael Brooke's magnificent performance as the adolescent Freddie, whose crush on Molly is exploited cruelly by the gang. Donner's skill with young actors is on full display here: Brooke's depiction of pubescent infatuation with a (slightly) older girl and the heartbreak and loss of innocence that that sort of infatuation can effect in is spot-on. Freddie is both precocious and naive -- a combination that's extraordinarily hard to recreate. It really is one of the greatest and most overlooked kid performances of the decade. It's a shame that Brooke didn't have much of a career afterward. (By the way, IMDb's entry for Brooke apparently confuses him with a much older actor with the same name. Surely, he wasn't born in 1904! However, I know that I've glimpsed him in a couple of another British movies from the same period -- "The Mudlark" and "The Long Arm," most notably.)So if you receive a possibility to watch this on TV, it's worth your while. (It seems to come on TCM once each year or so.)


Yes I too would like to see the rating higher as "Tryavna" above suggests such that I rated this movie 7/10.I purchased a job lot from a rare DVD dealer but somehow did not enjoy this game until today.Being born in 1946 I can well remember building websites on which me and mates would enjoy in our gratis time (very risky when I look back).England still had lots of bomb hurt in 1957 and bomb website vehicle parks were common.Us kids traded objects out of school but I was never offered a true diamond!The afore-mentioned player has adequately commented on the plot and production values and I accept the movie required speeding up somewhat, although it kept my attention to the end.Of course the moral movie code was much in evidence in 1957 so that any criminal caper had to present the perpetrators obtaining their just deserts in the end.Belinda Lee. although mainly a glamour puss in British and continental movies in the 1950s, here is given a true acting part which does not just trade on her outstanding physical looks as she has to enjoy a friendly & sympathetic relationship with her young 14 year old co-star.It was sad her life had to end prematurely in a vehicle accident in the USA in 1961.Curiously there was no movie melody heard in the chase stage on the building website between Lewis, Brookes & Lee.There has been a true life raid recently on a secure deposit in Hatton Garden,London which was in the papers and which makes this movie quite topical.


This thriller was the first movie directed by Clive Donner and it is a very nice begin to his long career. A jewel robbery in Hatton Garden in London is planned and a policeman's uniform is needed for the heist. The girlfriend of one of the gang persuades a teenage boy, Freddie, who is infatuated with her to borrow his own father's uniform. The robbery takes zone but later things begin to unravel. The secret zone of the game is an current hiding zone but it should refer to Freddie's heart and the turmoil that occurs in it.Freddie is played really well by Michael Brooke, who captures the intensity and confusion of a teenager who doesn't quite understand the globe but he is also caring and eventually quite heroic. The another main members of the cast are perfect too; Belinda Lee, Ronald Lewis, Michael Gwynn and George A. Cooper. A young David McCallum also appears in a unheroic part. There are also few kid actors in brief moments who are just so right that one suspects they were just local children recruited for the film.Most of it is shot on zone in London, still showing signs of the fight with bombed out buildings and empty spaces. As a Londoner it is interesting to see familiar territories filmed 60 years ago. There is no background melody where you might expect some, such as the tense robbery stage and the chase at the end but both sequences work really well. The photography of the chase at the end around a half built building is very noir, nice test of light and shadow. An engrossing film, and as in the movie a gem to be re-discovered.



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