Movies

Man At The Top The Movie (Hammer 1973 with Kenneth Haigh and Nanette Newman)

UK | Hammer – Dufton

RUNNING TIME: 90 Minutes | RELEASE DATE: 1973

WRITER: Hugh Whitemore | ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: John Junkin | CHARACTERS: John Braine | MUSIC: Roy Budd | PRODUCERS: Peter Charlesworth, Jock Jacobsen | DIRECTOR: Mike Vardy

In this superb movie version companion to the ITV series of Man at the Top Joe Lampton is given a high profile job by Lord Ackerman to take over as the managing director of a big pharmaceutical company, when he learns that his predecessor Taranath has committed suicide he begins to dig into the reasons behind his death and learns that he was the chief researcher behind a new drug called D50 which promises to aid malnourished families in Africa but has some serious side effects. Joe heads off for a showdown at Lord Ackerman’s country estate.

Classic! Having played Lampton for two seasons Haigh was naturally fully upto speed with his conniving and manipulative ways. This being a big screen movie there is ample nudity and thuggery – Joe has an affair with Ackerman’s wife played by Nanette Newman, don’t worry Nanette’s much loved status isn’t undermined by disrobing on screen she got a body double in for that and he also has a roll in the dirt with Ackerman’s daughter Robin as well as several other encounters along the way – not least with a pair of teenage hitch-hikers. All very 1970′s of course but Haigh is superb as Lampton and the script is tight too. It looks at one stage that Joe is going to get a crisis of conscience but as the final scenes play out you realise that once again he has arranged things so that he comes out on top.

Lots of well known faces appear and there are a couple of straight roles for comedian Charlie Williams and boxer John Conteh.

cast

KENNETH HAIGH as Joe Lampton

NANETTE NEWMAN as Alex

HARRY ANDREWS as Lord Ackerman

JOHN QUENTIN as Digby

MARY MAUDE as Robin

DANNY SEWELL as Weston

PAUL WILLIAMSON as Tarrant

MARGARET HEALD as Eileen

ANGELA BRUCE as Joyce

CHARLIE WILLIAMS as George Harvey

ANNE CUNNINGHAM as Mrs Harvey

WILLIAM LUCAS as Marshal

JOHN COLLIN as Wisbech

NORMA WEST as Mrs Tarrant

CLIVE SWIFT as Massey

JARON YELTAN as Taranath

TIM BRINTON as Newsreader

JOHN CONTEH as Black Boxer

NELL BRENNAN as Waitress

PATRICK McCANN as White Boxer

GEORGE FRANCIS as Referee

VERNE MORGAN as Records Clerk