AFS Essential Cinema: TIGER BAY

Director J. Lee Thompson
Year 1959
Starring Hayley Mills, Horst Buchholz and John Mills
Run Time 105min
More Info IMDb

Among other things, TIGER BAY stands out as the acting debut of a young Hayley Mills.  A far cry from the saccharine imprimatur of later films like POLLYANNA and THE PARENT TRAP, TIGER BAY is a much more hard-edged affair, starring Mills as the troublesome friend of a Polish sailor on the lam in the murky Cardiff docklands community of the title.

Tiger Bay itself is now better known as Cardiff Bay, the setting for TORCHWOOD and DOCTOR WHO, but has rarely been seen like this on screen.  In 1959, the area still bore the rough reputation earned in the Victorian era, but equally reflected the kind of diversity that is still absent in much of contemporary British cinema.  At times resembling KILLER OF SHEEP, but particularly indebted to Film Noir (director J. Lee Thompson later directed the decidedly noiresque CAPE FEAR), TIGER BAY careens between jagged, hard-boiled set pieces and touching moments between Mills and the sailor (Horst Buchholz of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN).

Making brilliant use of local non-actors, years before it became de rigueur, TIGER BAY shines as an unexpected beacon of rough, tough urban filmmaking from the most unlikely of places.

Tickets are $5 for AFS Memeber and Students with Valid ID / $8 for General Admission. Buy tickets and learn more about this screening HERE.

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