The Birthday Present
The Birthday Present is a 1957 British drama film directed by Pat Jackson. It stars Tony Britton as Simon Scott, a top toy salesmen returning from a business trip to Germany with a watch hidden inside a toy, intended as a birthday present for his wife Sylvia Syms. He is caught by customs, arrested, and the following day sentenced to three months imprisonment. The film explores several complex issues: problems in finding legal representation, the lack of competence and insensitivity of some solicitors, the day to day reality of prison life, as well as the financial and other practical difficulties in making an appeal against a relatively short sentence. Scott decides to drop the appeal and serve his time. After his release he loses his job, as his prison sentence has become widely known owing to a gossiping colleague. However, Scott rebuilds his life, with support from a loyal line manager, played by Geoffrey Keen.
|The Birthday Present|
|Directed by||Pat Jackson|
|Produced by||Jack Whittingham|
|Screenplay by||Jack Whittingham|
|Music by||Clifton Parker|
|Edited by||Jocelyn Jackson|
|Distributed by||British Lion Film Corporation (U.K.)|
- Tony Britton as Simon Scott
- Sylvia Syms as Jean Scott
- Jack Watling as Bill Thompson
- Walter Fitzgerald as Sir John Dell
- Geoffrey Keen as Colonel Wilson
- Howard Marion-Crawford as George Bates
- John Welsh as Chief Customs officer
- Lockwood West as Mr. Barraclough
- Harry Fowler as Charlie
- Frederick Piper as Careers Officer
- Cyril Luckham as Magistrate
- Thorley Walters as Photographer
- Ernest Clark as Barrister
- James Raglan as Prison Governor
- Anthony Sagar as 1st Reception Officer
- Barry Keegan as Junior Reception Officer
- Victor Brooks as 2nd Reception Officer
- Malcolm Keen as Bristow
- Laidman Brown as Dawson
- Arnold Bell as Green
- Michael Warre as Jerry
- Ralph Michael as Crowther
- Gay Cameron as Ruth
- Frances Rowe as Secretary
- Jeremy Burnham as Dudley
- Howard Lang as Cell Block Officer
The Radio Times dismissed the film as "this doleful, overlong slice of surburban life": while Allmovie called it "a bitter half-hour anecdote stretched to 100 minutes...Intended as a slice of raw realism, Birthday Present plays more like a cautionary social studies film"; but TV Guide concluded, "All-around fine technical efforts add a sense of authenticity." The British Film Institute's Monthly Film Bulletin described the film as being "creditable" but "novelettish, and the problem handled and solved at a purely sentimental level".
- "The Birthday Present (1957)".
- "The Birthday Present (1957) - Pat Jackson - Cast and Crew - AllMovie".
- "The Birthday Present - Film from RadioTimes".
- "The Birthday Present (1957) - Pat Jackson - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie".
- "The Birthday Present".
- "Birthday Present, The". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 24 no. 287. December 1957. p. 146.