Rent Time Without Pity (1957)

3.4 of 5 from 71 ratings
1h 25min
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David Graham (Michael Redgrave) is an alcoholic father who arrives in London after his release from an American sanatorium. His son has been sentenced to hang the next morning for murder, and Graham's lawyer, (Peter Cushing), stresses that they have just twenty-four hours to save him. Convinced of his innocence, Graham tries to unravel the twisted connections that his son had with the Stanford family and the murdered girl. But Graham's unwelcome interference drives the Stanfords apart and Robert Stanford (Leo McKern) forbids his wife (Ann Todd) from helping.
As time ticks away and a last minute reprieve fails, Graham must battle his alcoholism, Robert Stanford and the entire British legal system if he is to save his son from the gallows.
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John Arnold, Anthony Simmons
Ben Barzman, Emlyn Williams
Odeon Entertainment
British Films, Classics, Drama, Thrillers
Release Date:
Run Time:
85 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
  • Crime Notes Booklet
  • Best of British Trailers
Release Date:
Run Time:
89 minutes
English LPCM Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All
  • The John Player Lecture with Joseph Losey (1973, 80 mins): the celebrated filmmaker in conversation with film critic Dilys Powell at London's National Film Theatre
  • New and exclusive audio commentary with Neil Sinyard, co-author of British Cinema in the 1950's: A Celebration
  • The Sins of the Father (2019, 16 mins): filmmaker Gavrik Losey, son of Joseph Losey, discusses 'Time Without Pity'
  • Horlicks: Steven Turner (1960, 1 min): vintage commercial for the malted milk drink, directed by Joseph Losey
  • World premiere on Blu-ray

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Reviews (1) of Time Without Pity

Alarming. - Time Without Pity review by NC

Spoiler Alert

At his best, ('The Servant', 'Accident'), Joseph Losey could hold his own with most of the giants of world cinema. 'Time Without Pity' came nearly ten years after his first feature, but can be seen as his first film of real quality. Of the ten which came before only 'The Sleeping Tiger', with Dirk Bogarde, stands out.

Images fragmented and multiplied in mirrors. People shouting, hysterical, confused. We are looking through the eyes of an alcoholic, with a mind half-dissolved by drink, who seems to have lost the ability to be coherent or logical, or to see things in that way. But when David Graham, fresh out of a sanatorium, has just twenty-four hours to save his son's life, coherence and logic are exactly what he needs.

Losey takes it at a delirious tempo: so many clocks on walls, ticking away, faces coming and going, so many of them offering drinks, one of them in a room full of alarm clocks, every time one of them goes off it's a reminder that time is almost up. People keep mentioning the time of appointments, the time they were doing something or other, that there isn't enough time, what will happen in time, that time is running out.

A blistering cast is the icing on an already rich cake. Michael Redgrave quite often played insular characters ('The Browning Version', 'Thunder Rock'), teetering on the edge of sanity ('Uncle Vanya'), or who had actually fallen over the edge ('Dead Of Night'). In this mood, few actors could match him. There is a raft of great names in support: Leo McKern, Ann Todd, Peter Cushing, Paul Daneman, Alec McCowen, Renee Houston, Lois Maxwell, Joan Plowright, Peter Copley, Ernest Clark....Gracious Me!

There is perhaps a touch of the overly dramatic every now and again, but this is still a very fine film, and one of the highlights of the Losey canon.

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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