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Set over the course of a single night in a sleek jazz club carved out of a waterfront warehouse (the passion of a jazz-loving millionaire played by Richard Attenborough), All Night Long reworks Shakespeare’s “Othello” for a culture of musicians and singers and nightclub showbiz dealings. Iago here is America drummer Johnny Cousin (Patrick McGoohan), whose plan to leave the band of jazz royalty Aurelius Rex (Paul Harris) and led his own group pivots on signing Rex’s wife, retired singer Delia Lane (Marti Stevens), as his headliner. And that means breaking them up: planting doubts, fertilizing with liberal amounts of bullshit and watching the suspicion and mistrust and jealousy blossom (helped by a manipulated tape recording designed to seal the deal).
Set against an all-night jam session (featuring the likes of Dave Brubeck, Charlie Mingus and Johnny Dankworth), Dearden sets the narrative rhythms to the music and uses fluid camerawork to keep the momentum through the limited locations. He keeps a good beat here and directs the actors to a snappy rhythm. And, most interestingly, the film never addresses race in the issues of the mixed couples, directly or indirectly. This cosmopolitan culture thinks little of race or class. They pay attention to talent. And, of course, success.— Sean Axmaker, Parallax View
Sun October 2, 2016, 6:00 PM, Muenzinger Auditorium
UK, 1962, in English, Black and White, 91 min, 1.66 : 1
Director: Basil Dearden, Writer: Nel King, Writer: Paul Jarrico, Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Keith Michell, Betsy Blair, Paul Harris, Marti Stevens