18-year-old Joan Collins had her most important role to date in this brilliantly-acted Ealing film. She played Norma, a petulant youngster who finds herself in trouble with the police, placed on probation, and falling in love with another probationer, Charlie Hooker (Harry Fowler).
Cecil Parker plays Henry Phipps, the 40-year-old bachelor who has retired from his job as a diplomat with the Colonial Service and does not know what to do with his new-found leisure.
To him, Norma is just like any other unfortunate girl, cheap and provocative, but through her, he meets the probation officer, Matty (Celia Johnson). Driven by the boredom of an aimless existence, he decides to have a go at it himself.
His methods in dealing with young Hooker – who has got into trouble with a gang of corner boys and lives in Lewisham with a cruel stepfather – may be unorthodox, but they prove remarkably successful.
Norma’s ex-boyfriend, Jordie Bennett (Laurence Harvey), although handsome and flashy, is little more than a vicious thug.
Watch out for the beleaguered court sergeant, played by the legendary Sid James, making one of his first film appearances two years before he became a household name on Hancock’s Half Hour.
There’s also a terrific cameo by Ursula Howell, playing the drunken, shoplifting society girl, “The Hon. Ursula”.
Matty (Mrs Matheson)
Brenda de Banzie
The Hon. Ursula
Herbert C. Walton
Peggy Ann Clifford