Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Flame in the Streets (1961)

Flame in the Streets (1961)

Made in the wake of the 1959 Notting Hill riots, Flame in the Streets is an early examination of tense racial prejudices within a working-class family.

Adapted by Ted Willis from his own stage play Hot Summer Night, it had already been produced for television in 1959 for Armchair Theatre.

Director Roy Ward Baker makes no allowances for liberal sensibilities and pulls few punches in delivering what he himself termed “a harsh picture”.

Baker elicits a stirring performance from Brenda De Banzie, whose transformation from typical housewife and mother to snarling racist is the centrepiece of the drama.

Jacko Palmer (John Mills), a liberal-minded trade unionist, fights racial discrimination in a London furniture factory and averts a threatened strike over the appointment of West Indian Gomez (Earl Cameron) to shop steward, but has to face up to his own deeper prejudices when his daughter (Sylvia Syms) falls in love with a Jamaican teacher.

The couple plan on marrying, which creates havoc in the Palmer household where Kathie’s racist mother Nell (De Banzie) throws a fit.

Meanwhile, the streets of London are infused with racial tension as Teddy Boys confront the West Indian immigrants on an intense Guy Fawkes night.

Jacko Palmer
John Mills
Kathie Palmer

Sylvia Syms
Nell Palmer

Brenda De Banzie
Hugh Davies

Glyn Houston
Jubilee

Dan Jackson
Gabriel Gomez

Earl Cameron
Judy Gomez

Ann Lynn
Mary Jones

Olive Milbourn
Les

Michael Wynne
Peter Lincoln

Johnny Sekka
Harry Mitchell

Meredith Edwards
Mrs. Bingham

Gretchen Franklin
Christie

Irvin Allen
Bill

Harry Baird
Visser

Newton Blick
Dowell

Cyril Chamberlain
Girlfriend

Barbara Windsor
Old man

Wilfrid Brambell

Director
Roy Ward Baker