The Angry Silence The right of every individual to be different from his fellow man is the theme behind this internationally-hailed, British production. The story tells of a man’s dilemma when he refused to participate in an unofficial strike, where he works. While vicious, calculated violence brings the other dissenters into line, he goes it alone and is sent to Coventry (given the silent treatment) by his fellow workers. A stirring, thought-provoking movie that portrays the human problems and high emotions generated when a man. “if people can’t be different, if they take that away from you, there’s no point to any of it”
A rare and first-rate film about union politics and business complacency.
The Angry Silence I saw this film in my first year in law school in New York in 1991. A prior comment calls the film “right wing.” Unfortunately, given the subsequent events in Britain in the 1970s and contemporary events in Detroit right now, it is prescient. Lord Attenborough’s character faces a labor high noon many encounter in a union shop. One older worker in the film wants only to make a product that he is proud of. A pride that forces in the union movement obstruct. Anyone compelled to join a union by organizers who hire on only to unionize, will appreciate this film. I know. I’ve been there — twice. White collar and blue collar jobs. That the film was made at all is amazing. But this often grim picture does have a comedic sibling — the equally brilliant I’M ALL RIGHT JACK with Ian Carmichael and Peter Sellars. See both and you will understand what happened to Britain as well as too much of industrial America. If corporate greed has a partner, it is union executives who throw their members under a bus to save their jobs. THE ANGRY SILENCE should be required viewing for anyone who believes that political films — not politicized films — have a place in Hollywood. Heartbreaking story, economic direction, and brilliant acting. In dramatic black and white. The screenplay won a BAFTA Award for Bryan Forbes.