Skip to main content

The Bespoke Overcoat

UK, 1955 (MIFF 1956, Programme 2)

Director: Jack Clayton

Prize-winner at the 1955 Venice Festival,this modern Jewish variation of Gogol's famous serio-comic story, The Cloak, is a welcome addition to that rare genre, the short story film of quality.

Set in an East-End slum, the story pivots on the deep friendship of two humble Jews. Its sentiment and humour stretch beyond the grave, but first-rate acting and outstanding direction and photography establish a firm bridge between the temporal and the supernatural.

The director has achieved a piece of contemporary Jewish folklore: the dialogue has a deliberate tang, the background &ndash: the warehouse, the meagre little rooms of the clerk and his friend, the tailor, and a single little melancholy street &ndash: become almost an abstraction of poverty.

See also...

Down a Long Way

Explains how, by geological survey and geophysical tests, sites are selected for oil drilling. The steps in drilling a new hole are described in detail. ... More »

The Curious History of Money

The origins of money in primitive barter, the introduction of cheques - and of credit cards-this breezy cartoon is a model of propaganda films. ... Bronze Medal, San Francisco ... More »

Mercurious

A non-representational animated accompaniment to a piece of light music — a firework display without the bangs — a ballet without the people. ... More »

Jaunpuri

A succession of hypnotic images and colours are cut to haunting Indian jugalbandi music. ... More »

THE RATS

The Rats opens in the atmosphere of postwar Berlin. Figures emerge from their symbolic darkness to stand before us with an almost agonising actuality. Two world wars, the disintegrating effects of ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director