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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is as good as The Wire and Sopranos
it is best to watch all three parts of this trilogy ('74, '80, '83) on the same day if you can. It is worth the significant time commitment this requires as the natural story flow stays with you as you go from one to the next and you can keep up with the connected story threads and reoccurring characters. It also means you can catch nuances of the narrative as the...
Published on December 11, 2012 by Rae

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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, Violent, Unconvincing Picture of Murder and Corruption in 1970s England.
The "Red Riding" film trilogy -"Red Riding 1974", "Red Riding 1980", "Red Riding 1983"- is based on three of David Peace's "Red Riding" quartet of novels, dubbed "Yorkshire noir" for its bleak picture of police and societal corruption and violence in West Yorkshire of the 1970s and early 1980s. There were a number of botched high-profile murder cases in England in the...
Published on November 5, 2011 by mirasreviews


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is as good as The Wire and Sopranos, December 11, 2012
it is best to watch all three parts of this trilogy ('74, '80, '83) on the same day if you can. It is worth the significant time commitment this requires as the natural story flow stays with you as you go from one to the next and you can keep up with the connected story threads and reoccurring characters. It also means you can catch nuances of the narrative as the storytelling is deceptively low key, considering the actual ferocity of the events depicted. The work is so good it is all worth it. It will stay with for a while afterwards.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for anyone who loves a great plot and fine acting., December 3, 2012
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This review is from: Red Riding - 1974 (DVD)
Anyone reading this, I must say, buy this now. It will become one of your main staples of entertainment. No library should be without the compleat set. There are two more. It is heartbreakingly horrible. You can't stop watching. Nothing is as it appears to be so don't blink. If you can, buy 1983 after this. It compleats this one. Fantastic!
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, Violent, Unconvincing Picture of Murder and Corruption in 1970s England., November 5, 2011
The "Red Riding" film trilogy -"Red Riding 1974", "Red Riding 1980", "Red Riding 1983"- is based on three of David Peace's "Red Riding" quartet of novels, dubbed "Yorkshire noir" for its bleak picture of police and societal corruption and violence in West Yorkshire of the 1970s and early 1980s. There were a number of botched high-profile murder cases in England in the 1970s involving police incompetence, frame-ups of innocent suspects, and corruption. But I am not aware of anything like the level of violence depicted in this film from that time or place. I gather from director Julian Jarrold's comments that the violence is of disputed authenticity. For some reason, marketing for these films has associated them with the Yorkshire Ripper case. But the Yorkshire Ripper was a paranoid schizophrenic man who bonked 13 women on the head and stabbed them to death between 1975 and 1980. "Red Riding 1974" involves kidnapping and child murder.

Eddie Dunford (Andrew Garfield) is an ambitious young reporter for the Yorkshire Post attending a press conference given by the local police to announce the disappearance of 10-year-old Claire Kemplay. There were two other missing local girls, never found, who disappeared in 1969 and 1972. Eddie wonders if there might be a connection and wants to do a story about it -especially after Claire's tortured body has been found, swan's wings sewn into her flesh. He interviews Paula Garland (Rebecca Hall), mother of another of the missing girls, who does not take to him at first. Shortly thereafter, Eddie is beaten up by a couple of cops. Was it because of his inquiry into the missing girls? Or did it have something to do with his friend and colleague Barry Gannon (Anthony Flanagan), who was investigating corruption of local politicians by real estate developer John Dawson (Sean Bean), on whose property Claire's body was found?

Andrew Garfield does a good job of Eddie Dunford, a cocky young guy with his heart in the right place but pretty selfish all the same. Rebecca Hall is sublime, as usual. Sean Bean is a striking villain. Some American viewers have reported having trouble understanding the northern England accents, but I had no trouble except for the occasional phrase uttered by Eddie's thickly accented editor (John Henshaw), which was of no consequence. If you watch the film on DVD, you can use the English SDH (or Spanish) subtitles if you need them. This film is not for the squeamish; there are graphic depictions of beatings and torture. I took these to be stylistic flourishes. That may sound odd, but it is symptomatic of "Red Riding 1974"'s major shortcoming: It is superficial. It takes place in a "noir" environment in the sense that Eddie is adrift in a world that is out of his control, that he cannot understand, to which he can only fall victim. But it doesn't have much to say about that fact.

The story -the murdered girl, the used and confused grieving mother, the all-powerful sadistic real estate magnate, his mentally disturbed wife- is simply unconvincing. I didn't buy any of it. I wasn't convinced by the violence either, no matter how gross it got. Was the graphic violence supposed to impart a sense of realism in an otherwise absurdly contrived and over-the-top plot? It didn't work. It just seemed like style. Director Julian Jarrold shot the film on 16mm film to give it the look of a grainy 1970s print. This seems over-the-top to me as well. What theatrical films were shot on 16mm in the 1970s? It was used for television. The colors in "Red Riding 1974" are also more washed out than a typical 1970s palette. Perhaps if it had been shot on 16mm and left sitting in the sun... Nice cast, but the character writing lacks depth, and the story is generally unconvincing. I don't think I'll be seeing "Red Riding" 1980 or 1983.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully shot and acted, but oddly empty, January 4, 2011
By 
Clare Quilty (a little pad in hawaii) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Riding - 1974 (DVD)
I think if the sound had been turned off when I watched this, I might have mistaken it for a great movie.

This, the first film in a trilogy that's actually based on four novels by David Peace, follows a young Yorkshire Post reporter who digs into a series of unsolved murders and finds violence, police corruption, shady development deals and a shadowy conspiracy that winds through the North English countryside.

The performances (particularly Andrew Garfield, Rebecca Hall and Sean Bean) are excellent. The period detail is exacting. The cinematography, shot in 16-mm with endless inky blacks and hazy whites, oozes atmosphere. But in the end, too many elements just don't add up. Plot elements seem to owe more to other, better movies and literature than to reality, and despite his talent Garfield -- coolly and endlessly chainsmoking, strolling around in his hip leather "Serpico" coat -- just doesn't have the gravitas the role demands. He acts more like a private investigator than a working journalist. We never believe the characters who seem to take him seriously *would* take him seriously, and his romance with Hall never earns the dramatic weight the movie, in its final scene, seems to think it should have.

If you took David Fincher's "Zodiac," relocated it to the United Kingdom, gave it a Brian Helgeland rewrite and then drained it of the necessary depth and weight, you might have something like "1974."

I still plan to watch the next two chapters of the "Red Riding" story, but this is not an auspicious beginning.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where were the subtitles?, February 14, 2013
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Since "Red Riding 1974" is free -- and I had a little time on my hands while working on the laptop -- I decided to watch. The first thing that came to mind: Do they have an English version of this film?

I'm teasing, of course, but the accents are so thick that I'm guessing most Americans struggle to understand the dialog. Subtitles would be nice. And these films seem to be mostly dialog driven, which is OK. I'm not an action film guy, so to me, dialog -- at least dialog that is written well, and can be understood -- is fine by me.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that this is historical fiction, where the main character is a reporter who is independently investigating a series of murders? Correct? And along the way, he hooks up with a bunch of hot English babes who either like him because he's good looking (I'm assuming that he is) or, well, because they like reporters? Or maybe they like guys that get beat up all the time?

Is it the case that the English like to rough other people up a lot? One guy in a bar grabs the lead by the. . . well, can't say it on a family site. And a couple of cops get mad at him at one point and beat him good, slamming his hand in a car door, and then dragging him down a long corridor. Is it the case that English cops are just taking their anger out on our protagonist, because they are mad that they can't carry guns, just like the general public? (By the way: would you want to be a cop who couldn't carry a gun? Not I. I'd dig ditches first. Heck, I'd work on "Dirty Jobs" instead.)

Well, an understated film that didn't make a whole boatload of sense to me. And that would be the true crime.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Violence and murder in Northern England: The beginning tale, July 5, 2013
By 
janebbooks (Jacksonville, FL USA) - See all my reviews
Red Riding Trilogy: Part 1: 1974 (Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974)
2009 NR 102 minutes
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Rebecca Hall, Sean Bean, Eddie Marsan, Michelle Dockery
Director: Julian Jarrold

Northern England has become a very scary place in several bestselling British crime writer's novels that have been adapted for television films. Val McDermid explores the area...one she knows well... in her series of novels loosely grouped together as WIRE IN THE BLOOD featuring Tony Hill, a profiler and Carol Jordan, a Detective Inspector. The WIRE novels became the basis for Robson Greene's television series of the same name. Greene not only directs the series but plays Tony Hill; he discards the McDermid plots and the Carol Jordan character after a few episodes and his series becomes darker and strange.

Now I've started watching the RED RIDING film trilogy from the novels of David Peace that shares the Northern England setting. There are three vignettes in the series beginning with this tale of an investigative reporter who first pieces together a few Yorkshire murders loosely based on the true Ripper-like crimes that began in the 1970s..

I only know a little about the young actor Andrew Garfield. I've seen him in THE SOCIAL EXPERIMENT and know about his role as SPIDER MAN last year. Garfield is the "star" of the first part of the RED RIDING trilogy. His handsome blooded face appears on the first screen of the film...and the segment ends with a still of the same bloodied face. Through a few introductory scenes about the latest incident of missing children, one easily discerns that Garfield is portraying the eager reporter who pieces together and investigates the crimes.

Lately, in case you notice such things, film ratings have included along with mentions of nudity and foul language....a note that there is also smoking. It seems to be a bit silly to me....I'm sure film smoking doesn't cause cancer in viewers...but this DVD would garner an excessive smoking warning if rated. Most of the scenes are seen through a cloud of cigarette smoke...expected in a 1970s newsroom... but coupled with the ever present cigarette between Garfield's fingers, a viewer takes notice. The reporter interviews the mothers of the victims, and when he begins revisiting one mother....an interesting green and white house appears to signal the visit. The reporter is constantly beaten and harassed, even water-boarded and otherwise tortured, and apparently raped by the local police in a couple of scenes.

The police brutality, the excessive smoking, the lure of the inhabitant of a green and white house....are startling scenes designed to be a bit haunting. Are they necessary? I suspect they are...for one can hardly forget the scenes as one catches breath before ordering the second part of the trilogy.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Too long, too dark, too old., October 20, 2014
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Too long, too dark, too old. Major disappointment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, September 5, 2014
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All 3 Red Riding films are worth watching.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, July 22, 2014
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Great modern noir film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, September 21, 2014
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Love it.
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Red Riding - 1974
Red Riding - 1974 by Julian Jarrold (DVD)
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