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Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.
John Wilson is troubled with pain and and an inability to sleep. He tries to light the gas-fire and seeks help from another lodger, artist Nicholas, who is spending the night with his model, and is reluctant to be disturbed. Another neighbor, Pollen, tries to be helpful, but is hit by Wilson. Frightened and angry, Pollen calls for police help. The others in the boarding house are awakened by this time, and Mrs. Harris tries to help the mentally confused Wilson, but he also refuses her help. The police clash with Dr. Sanderson, a welfare worker, who thinks he can take the gun-toting Wilson without complications, but when a Police Sergeant is injured, Police Inspector Thompson is determined to take Wilson by force if necessary.Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This tense drama - about a disturbed man locked in his apartment room wanted by the police and seemingly in an untenable situation - is quite unusual in its structure.
Apart from the studio and title of the film, there are no opening credits. There is no background music and the film takes place in 'real time'. These are challenging restrictions for a film but director Don Chaffey does a largely splendid job.
The secret to the film's success is that it doesn't excessively focus on the central character (played by Richard Attenborough in his typically intense, brooding style) but places him in the context of the law, support organisations and ordinary citizens (represented by other tenants of the building).
The film deftly creates a range of characterisations who either want to help or apprehend 'the man upstairs' or just have him out of their way for their own personal reasons. It highlights how a character in the plight that Attenborough's is in is reliant on sensible, selfless and practical measures by those around him to not potentially ruin his life.
While not a classic, 'The Man Upstairs' is a fine film, worth seeking out.
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