This film is part of Free

The Square

An old man looks back wistfully over his years spent living in a King's Cross square, and enjoys a surprise skiffle party organised by neighbours.

Drama 1957 16 mins


In a rundown part of London's King's Cross, the bittersweet reminiscences of an aged resident (screen veteran A.E. Matthews) are rudely interrupted by a letter telling him his house is to be pulled down. But his sadness at having to leave is soothed when the neighbours arrange him a surprise party - with music provided by a local skiffle group - and a teenage girl teaches him to dance.

The Square was the first film from director Michael Winner, who'd later find Hollywood success with violent thrillers including Death Wish (1974). This far gentler, formative work was financed by Winner's father for £1000, but never saw release. It showcases both London streets and skiffle music - folk blues, often accompanied by home-made instruments. Leading the skiffle group is Rory McEwen, later to host Hullabaloo, a night-time folk and blues television programme. The light-footed teenager who teaches A.E. Matthews to 'rock' is Geraldine Lynton, who would, decades later, become Michael Winner's wife.