The Small Back Room (1949)

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“The Small Back Room” is a 1949 British war film directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and starring David Farrar and Kathleen Byron. The movie tells the story of Sammy Rice, a scientist who is tasked with developing a new type of explosive for the British Army during World War II.

Sammy Rice, played by Farrar, is a talented scientist who suffers from a physical disability and a dependence on alcohol. He is in a turbulent relationship with his girlfriend Susan (played by Byron), who is also struggling with her own personal demons.

Despite his personal struggles, Sammy is determined to complete his work for the Army. He faces a number of challenges, including pressure from his superiors and a series of dangerous accidents in the laboratory. Sammy also becomes embroiled in a tense game of cat and mouse with a German spy who is attempting to steal his research.

As Sammy’s mental and emotional state begins to unravel, he becomes increasingly reliant on Susan for support. However, their relationship is strained as they struggle to come to terms with their own personal demons.

“The Small Back Room” is a character-driven film that explores the psychological toll of war and the impact it can have on individuals. The movie is notable for its use of innovative camera techniques and its portrayal of Sammy’s struggle with disability and addiction. The film’s themes of sacrifice, duty, and personal redemption are timeless and continue to resonate with audiences today.

Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

Nigel Balchi, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

David Farrar, Jack Hawkins, Kathleen Byron

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