The film was adapted from a stage play written by Philip King. One of the teenage delinquent gang members was played by another 1950s rock and roll star, the uncredited Jess Conrad in an early acting performance.
The film’s harsh and gritty events are only lightened by musical performances by Cliff Richard and the Shadows, still called the Drifters at the time. Richard, playing the thug’s younger brother, is not required to do much more than lounge about looking moody with a sneering curled lip, dressed in denim jeans and a black leather jacket. He barely speaks in the film, other than to sing three songs in coffee bar scenes.
The depiction of disaffected and unfocussed youths hanging around coffee bars, breaking into swimming pools, speaking in affected American jive slang and 'grooving' to Cliff Richard's songs was a little clumsy and contrived. There was a general opinion, even at the time, that the inclusion of the rock and roll was a cynical move by the film’s producers to cash in on Cliff Richard’s chart success and he was indeed featured large in the pre-release advertising campaign.
However, the main plot is quite a daring story, and occasionally almost subversive. Homosexuality was still highly illegal in the UK and to accuse a vicar was unheard of. The audience is however encouraged to wonder about Rev Phillips's actual sexual orientation when he spurns the advances of the good churchgoing woman, seems oblivious to his obviously sexy and young French maid and reacts to his strident and domineering mother, a studied and knowing performance by Irene Browne, with a subservient deference.
• Living Doll – also released as a single • No Turning Back • Mad about you • Chinchilla (Instrumental by The Drifters)