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The Offence (1973)

Sean Connery , Trevor Howard , Sidney Lumet  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant, Ian Bannen
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Writers: Written by JOHN HOPKINS
  • Producers: Produced by DENIS O'DELL
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2010
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003B3NV7C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,200 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Offence" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Sidney Lumet directs Sean Connery as a British police detective whose 20 years of handling murder, rape and other violent cases culminate in a deadly loss of control during a routine interrogation.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Anyone wondering about the true acting ability of Sean Connery should catch this grim psychological drama directed with stark realism (as usual) by Sidney Lumet. I knew he could act through the smirks and savoir faire of James Bond and other big movies but the roles always lesser than the surrounding spectacle. 'The Offence' finds Connery in a stripped-down, rough little movie that pits his detective against the late Ian Bannen's child molester suspect. The battle of wits breaks only to look at the cop's equally distressing marital life. Yes, a tough one to watch but marvel at the sheer power of Connery's performance as the driven yet ambivalent detective. If you're a Connery fan, or just a lover of good acting, check this out.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "You Think You're Having Me?" June 26, 2008
Long before Sean Connery accepted the Best Supporting Actor for 1987's THE UNTOUCHABLES, he'd already proven himself to not only be one of the 20th Century's biggest movie stars but an actor capable of immersing himself in a role with the best.

I'll always believe that it was Connery's conviction as an actor that helped make the James Bond movies resonate so strongly with the Sixties moviegoing public. No matter how outrageous the situation, you believed it because he believed it. He quickly grew bored with the role as the scripts began imitating themselves and sought other roles to better define himself as an actor, not a movie star (as if being one of the biggest movie stars in the world was such a bad thing!).

Connery's talents are all on display in THE OFFENCE, a Sidney Lumet-directed film about a cop who goes over the edge. The film takes you into the tortured mind of a police detective who's seen too much, a big man not quite big enough for the corrosive overall effects of hunting down a child killer.

Most of the film takes place in an interrogation room as Connery plays a cat-and-mouse verbal game with a suspect who may or may not be his man. The result is fatal to the suspect and fatal to Connery's psyche.

It doesn't look like this film is available on DVD yet in the United States but it has been showing on cable TV channels. It's well worth watching to see great performances so check it out if you get the chance.

I think my favorite Connery performance is THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING in 1975. Bottom line is: he's always good. In THE OFFENCE, he's great.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but grim October 19, 2007
Anything directed by Sidney Lumet is worth considering. This is one of his very best. A dark and disturbing story, featuring two brilliant performances by Sean Connery and Ian Bannen. Its no coincidence that 'The Hill' from eight years earlier was also directed by Lumet and featured Connery and Bannen.

Connery is Sergeant Johnson a Policeman who after twenty years of dealing with murders, rapes and other violent crimes has had enough. Bannen plays child molester Kenneth Baxter who Johnson has to interrogate. His interrogation is brutal and Johnson starts to doubt whether he is any better than the man he is interrogating. This is a grim and depressing film throughout, yet somehow its one that always surprises me when I see it again. I think this is down to Connery's massive screen prescence, although it helps to have one of the best Directors as well of course.

This is only a 15 on DVD in the UK, but some may find the subject matter and general downbeat nature of the film off-putting. If in doubt I would rent it first.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This story of yours... April 23, 2006
The Offence tends to have been relegated to a trivia question these days (what was the film United Artists agreed to make as part of their deal to get Sean Connery to play Bond in Diamonds Are Forever?). On some levels it is dated, but the power of Connery's truly extraordinary performance is undiminished. A man almost totally morally decayed by the horrors of the job who sees something he recognises in himself in the suspect in a series of child-rapes (an almost equally impressive Ian Bannen), with terrible consequences, it's a ferocious outpouring of anger and contempt crying out for help he simply won't accept. The eternally under-rated Sidney Lumet's direction is bold and cinematic despite the theatrical origins (the play Something Like the Truth by Thunderball co-writer John Hopkins), the film's dulled palette mirrored by the half-finished grey concrete of the modernist police station: with its large windows looking out at pure blackness, it's more a reflection of the character's state of mind than an attempt at a realistic representation, but it's an entirely appropriate arena.

The R2 disc, like most of MGM/UA's European releases, sadly contains no extras even though footage of the rehearsals exists and occasionally turns up on documentaries, but does boast an acceptable widescreen transfer.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep and unconscious criminal roots November 3, 2008
A small English film, well done and many other things, but the interest is not in the plot because we know from the very start who the rapist is. But the whole interest of the film is how the rapist does not know he is one, does not remember his crime and how his memory is going to come back little by little, though it will take him killing another - at least - man who managed to see through his official innocence.

That shows how being a rapist is a very special crime. It is a secret crime that happens in the deepest depth of one's mind and of which the rapist himself is not conscious, though his subconscious, when it takes over to guide him through the crime, is extremely well organized and makes him do exactly what is necessary for him to succeed and to go through it without any problem or opposition.

This subconscious is also strong enough to make him forget about the crime entirely so that he does not have to hide anything since he does not know any more, though he does not need his torch in the night to go back to the girl in the woods, and her reaction confirms in our eyes the fact he is the rapist even if he is trying to comfort her now.

And yet that subconscious is trying to hide the tracks of the crime by looking for an easy scapegoat who would in a way or another accept, willy-nilly or unwillingly if necessary, to be the surrogate rapist. The transfer of another transfer, and that is the beginning of the fall of the rapist because he will become a criminal of his own. And we are set wondering how it is possible for a criminal of that type to mislead his surrounding co-workers or even relatives and acquaintances into believing he is an innocent good man.

How can crime hide so well and so deep in a man's deeper layers of his personality?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Down For This Neurotic Escapade
Very depressing movie about an out of control cop (Connery) who can't seem to repress his desire to commit the lurid sex crimes he witnesses the bad guys commit. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stanley
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but not an easy one to sit through
This is one of Sean Connery's and director Sidney Lumet's most underrated films. And Ian Bannen makes a chilling impression as a suspect that toys with Connery's emotions but ends... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Film Fanatic C
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark English Thriler
Sean Connery and Ian Bannen are at their darkest best in this deeply disturbing. Brings you through twists and turns and who done it and what men might be capable of doing.
Published 7 months ago by J Frances
5.0 out of 5 stars In This Our Life
With each new Bette Davis movie I receive from Amazon, I continue to be amazed by her chameleon-like performances and her ability metamorphize herself. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Linda McTaggart
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Sean Connery Film
This is from the MGM vault series. While it is not close-captioned for the hearing-impaired, it is presented (for the first time on DVD) in its original (theatrical) letter-boxed... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paul C. Wallace
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Film
In return for agreeing to be in Diamonds Are Forever, Connery received one million dollars and a promise by United Artists to finance two films of his choice. Read more
Published on August 2, 2011 by JAK
4.0 out of 5 stars Connery's Best Performance?
THE OFFENCE is a tight, taut, gripping drama of psychological suspense that showcases what may be Sean Connery's finest performance. Read more
Published on July 18, 2011 by Robert C. Cumbow
2.0 out of 5 stars Low-grade Transfer on DVD-R
Some of the MGM Limited Edition titles have been very nice, such as 99 RIVER STREET, but others like THE HAWAIIANS and THE SATAN BUG have been nearly unwatchable. Read more
Published on March 21, 2011 by Jim Harwood
3.0 out of 5 stars Connery Superb In So-So Film
To say "The Offence" is a disappointment would be an understatement. Any film starring Sean Connery and directed by Sidney Lumet that lacks any kind of resonance would be. Read more
Published on August 16, 2010 by David Baldwin
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Would Not Have Your Thoughts..."
England, 1973: Detective Sergeant Johnson (Sean Connery) is a hard-bitten veteran of some twenty years in the police force and one of the lead detectives working towards the... Read more
Published on June 28, 2010 by darklordzden
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