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

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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.

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.

production details
UK | Hammer – Dufton

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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

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

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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