NO RESTING PLACE (1951) [Feature]

UK (MIFF 1953 )
Director: Paul Rotha

Alec Kyle, his wife, and their young son are members of a family of wandering Irish tinkers. Alec accidentally kills a gamekeeper when hurling a flint at him in retaliation for a shot which has injured his son. An elderly Civil Guard, Mannigan, suspects that the Kyles were involved in the murder, but Alec and his two brothers stick to the story they have concocted and no evidence can be found to bring against them.

Mannigan's determination to get his man is strengthened when he is felled by Alec in a pub brawl. Alec is eventually imprisoned for the assault, but the gamekeeper's murder becomes an obsession with Mannigan and Alec is rarely let out of his sight. On his release from prison, Alec and his family take a derelict cottage in the hills. The relentless watch culminates in the family's eviction from the cottage and Alec's decision lo leave the district.

While on his way to the ''Promised Land" he is at last caught off his guard.
In its description of the tinker community No Resting Place achieves a simple authenticity. It draws fresh and sympathetic portraits of the Kyle family and brings vivid pictorial detail to its impression of the Irish landscape.

Filmed entirely on location in Ireland, it is the first feature film of the distinguished documentary director, Paul Rotha. It is one of the few British attempts at an intimate realistic work shot against natural backgrounds, and derives in method from the post-war Italian cinema.

No Resting Place

was produced on a budget which, if it were tripled, would still be considered modest for a feature film of quality today. It represents a total breakaway from custom in its absence of stars and of studio work and its use of non-professional players chosen on the spot.

Paul Rotha. in a letter to Stanley Hawes. says: "I adapted a treatment in 15 days. wrote a detailed shooting script in 13 days.

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