Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Violent Enemy (1967)

Director: Don Sharp

Writers: Jack Higgins, Edmund Ward

Composer: John Scott

Starring: Tom Bell, Susan Hampshire, Ed Begley, Noel Purcell, Jon Laurimore, Michael Standing, Philip O'Flynn, Catherine Finn, Owen Sullivan, Fred Johnson

More info: IMDb

Plot: After spending 8 years in prison, Sean (Bell), a former Irish terrorist, breaks out of prison and heads back to Ireland where he wants to live a quiet and peaceful life but his old comrades have something different in mind.  Sean is to blow up an electronics factory and put a spark back into the Irish revolution.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

It's British which means there's an excellent chance the performances are strong, and they are.  Ed Begley has a moment of REALLY old-school acting when, instead of looking Hannah (Hampshire) in the eyes when he talks about ideals of the revolution (or something deeply patriotic) he looks off into the distance.  He's sitting across from her in a pub for crying out loud.  It plays silly.  I felt for Sean (Bell) as he was lied to in order for him to break out of prison (he had one month before he was to be released early anyway) and he makes a good case for wanting to stay away from IRA activity with all of the 'noise' it creates.  He wants to live a simple life with his gal, Hannah.  The buildup to destroying the target wasn't remotely thrilling. While there was danger for some characters I never felt it but the ending was bleak which is something I can get behind.  It felt more true to life in that regard.  To the best of my knowledge this has never gotten a proper widescreen home video release.  Maybe if I saw this wide in a theater it would have had a different impact on me.  Sometimes you just have to see things however you can get them.

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