Sunday, December 26, 2010

Villain (1971)

Director: Michael Tuchner

Starring: Richard Burton, Ian McShane, Nigel Davenport, Donald Sinden, Fiona Lewis

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Meet Vic Dakin. Then wish you hadn't.

Plot: Murderous, sadistic London gang leader Vic Dakin, a mother-obsessed homosexual modeled on real-life gangster Ronnie Kray, is worried about potential stool pigeons that may bring down his criminal empire. The brutal Vic cuts the throat of one bloke who has been a little too loose-lipped, afraid that his gossiping may turn into a grand operatic performance for the coppers. Vic, who enjoys playing at rough trade with his sidekick Wolfe, plans a payroll robbery and directs the blackmailing of Members of Parliament with a taste for unorthodox sex. Scotland Yard Police Inspector Matthews, playing Javert to Vic's Jean Valjean, is moving in on him and the gang. Gang-member Frank is hospitalized for an ulcer, and Inspector Matthews might be able to make him sing. Will Frank spill the beans to the coppers before Vic can silence him?

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yup.

I never met a 70s British gangster flick that I didn't like. This one's different in that it's got Richard Burton as the, well, villain. He's always fun to watch but he seemed a bit out of place for some reason. Maybe it's that he can't smack anyone around for shit.

Cue the sexy music...

That was foreplay, by the way. If you ever wanted to see the build up to a love scene between Richard Burton and Ian McShane, then this is your movie.

Hey, it's Michael Robbins (from the classic Britcom ON THE BUSES)
and badass Nigel Davenport!

VILLAIN is a decent caper flick but it's the aftermath that holds a lot of its strength as a picture. It's not the home run I expected given the cast but it was enjoyable and it's always fun seeing some great British actors doing their gritty gangster thing.

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