In 1959 a controversial novel about the British House of Commons was published by Wilfred Fienburgh, a Socialist member of Parliament. Its insights into the inner workings of the British government understandably upset a few highbrows, though the public relished the fictionalized
information. Fienburgh was killed in an auto accident shortly after publication of his book, two years before he could see the filmed version. Finch is Fienburgh's protagonist. He plays a member of Parliament re-elected to the House of Commons. But his political life and social life are far from
satisfying. He fails to receive an expected cabinet post, and shortly after that his Communist wife (Crutchley) leaves him. His life a shambles, Finch takes up with a militant left-wing faction. His upstairs neighbor (Whitelaw) takes Finch to a party where he meets Peach, a fashion model. They are
soon lovers. He is so mad for her that he misses an important session in which he was to ask questions that would discredit the ruling party. Peach decides that marrying a man twice as old as she is would be a mistake and she leaves London. Finch's fellow party members haul him onto the carpet for
missing the important session because of the love of a woman. His life is once more a shambles, but he is surprised by the return of Crutchley. She wants to make a go of the marriage once more, and he nearly agrees. But a high official offers him a cabinet seat with the stipulation that Finch
remain apart from his Communist wife.
Finch is excellent as the man on a political and emotional roller coaster. The real key to this film, however, is the supporting cast. Keen as the prime minister, Holloway as an old veteran politico, Barkworth as a new member of the House of Commons, and Pleasence as a leftist all combine for some
wonderful performances. Like real-life politics, this is a film studded with quirky and eclectic personalities that give a realistic feeling to the political proceedings. Though the film is more dramatic and less controversial than its source, NO LOVE FOR JOHNNIE is well produced. The director
moves things along with a great sense of drive. It may not exactly know where it's going (so much like the real political world), but it certainly brings us there. The personal elements staged against the panorama of important events are nicely handled. One is never sacrificed for the other,
resulting in a fine mix of the human and the immense.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: In 1959 a controversial novel about the British House of Commons was published by Wilfred Fienburgh, a Socialist member of Parliament. Its insights into the inner workings of the British government understandably upset a few highbrows, though the public re… (more)