Adapted from Ludovic Kennedy’s splendid book and featuring Sir Lord Richard of Attenborough’s best performance. The true story of a man – played by John Hurt – wrongly accused of murdering his wife and his landlord John Christie, portrayed by Attenborough with blood curdling coolness – who actually did, this is another film that has the ability to both horrify the viewer and make them seethe with fury over the official injustice of it all (cf The Hill). We often find this sort of film far more terrifying than what is usually thought of as horror simply because it is all so real and because we know, of course, that it is all true. Hurt’s character is – and was – executed and it was many years before Christie’s guilt became known. Hurt is superb, conveying the simple-mindedness of his subject brilliantly and his wide-eyed exasperation at what is happening to him is heartbreaking but Attenborough is the dead centre of the film, so chilling that you can’t take your eyes off him, as much as you want to.Read More
Posts Tagged With 'John Hurt'
Can we take this for granted, with your eyes over us? In this place, this wintry home, John Hurt knows there’s always someone in, while Suzanna ‘Brimstone and Treacle’ Hamilton faces the wall, turns her back against it all. They’ll pull the bricks down one by one, leave a big hole in the wall, just where Richard Burton is looking in. Scenes all filmed, though we’re not entirely sure why, on the exact days of the year they were meant to have taken place in Orwell’s book. Also with (dooo-dooo-do-do-do-do-dooo!) Gregor Fisher, (dooo-dooo-do-do-do-do-dooo!) David ‘Mr Bentley’ Cann and (dooo-dooo-do-do-do-do-dooo!) Roger ‘Trigger’ Lloyd-Pack. The comedy zeitgeist deems The Eurythmics infra dig once more, it seems, reminding us of director Michael Radford pulling a massive BAFTA hissy fit when Smiling Dickie Branson slotted their music into his sombre Orwellathon. Well, fair enough, Sexcrime *is* bloody terrible, but that sort of precious over-seriousness is exactly what made this film such a brittle, airless chunk of O-level textbook ho- hum in the first place. Happily, Radford seems to’ve lightened up since, rumoured as he is to be working with the Jim Henson Company. The Muppets’ Two Minutes Hate, anyone? (Stadler: “They say you should imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever!” Waldorf: “They’ve saved us the bother, the bear’s on next!”)Read More
A major headache at the time, due to the impossibility of stitching real Antarctic bird footage into the here-there-everywhere tale of remote naturalist John Hurt trying to balance web-footed duty with love for distant spouse Hayley Mills. Massive production problems – the wildlife footage didn’t cut together properly, and Roy Boulting and wife Hayley Mills were parachuted in when it turned out the original leading lady and director just couldn’t cut it. Result – one astonishingly directionless mess of pottage.Read More
Paul Schofield is Thomas More, wearing a football boot on one leg and a cricket pad on the other, telling a drumstick-tossing Robert Shaw where to stick his decree nisi. Leo McKern is Thomas Cromwell, Orson Welles takes the Terry Scott part, and Susannah York, John Hurt, Corin ‘zero fame’ Redgrave and Yootha Joyce pitch in for a by-the-book slice of historical pageantry, complete with that early parliament set that looks like a cattle market.Read More
Dope-smuggling Brad Davis’ Turkish jail and John Hurt hell, as over-didactically scripted by Oliver Stone. Our RE teacher actually played this, ‘visiting hours’ scene and all, in class, along with Cool Hand Luke and some other films we’ve long forgotten, all the while resembling the dead spit of Tim Brooke-Taylor circa You Must Be The Husband. Which was, needless to say, great. Sorry, we thought this was Friends Reunited for a second there.Read More
The only one in the series which doesn’t bring to mind a party of sullen Spanish school kids queueing at the Trocadero.Read More