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Nowhere to go is an obscure British thriller made by Ealing Studios in 1958 and directed by Seth Holt, his first film. It is well worth catching, and has shadowy parallels with the gangster cycle Jean-Pierre Melville was shortly to embark on in France (starting from Le Doulos, 1962) such as prison backgrounds, loyalty and disloyalty, and an absence of moral judgement. It displays too a familiarity with American low-budget crime thrillers.

The film opens with a taut, largely silent prison break (as does Melville’s Le Deuxième Souffle) and includes this terrific shot of the prisoner running between tall buildings to reach the wall where an escape rope awaits him.

Nowhere to go

It was Antonioni who so strikingly explored the relation of the human figure to the urban landscape and large buildings that offer a threat as much as a setting,

Notte 5

but Holt does it in Nowhere to go too in order to set a tone for the film, picking up on, for example, He Walked by Night (1948) with its terrific climax set in a sewer system,

He walked by night 3

and on The Third Man (1949) with a similar setting.

The Third Man 1

http://www.timcawkwell.co.uk

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