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Otherwise Intelligent Film, Misfires for Me
on January 12, 2015
"The Offence" (1972) was a well-acted Sidney Lumet directed story that kind of misfired for me because the film told its story too ambiguously, while leaving one with a lot to think about, but it is, upon second and third viewings, cloudy. It remains cloudy about things that should be very determined while watching the story unfold. I was surprised at Sidney Lumet who consistently knows how to tell a story. That includes the very misunderstood "The Appointment" with Omar Sharif and Anouk Aimee. That film was designed to be ambiguous, almost like a Chinese puzzle, but with "The Offence" we really do not have a protagonist as the film tries to give creditability by their very humaness, despicable traits so and the ambiguity never clarifies our doubts. Granted, every hearing in a court of law does not guarantee that justice is always served. Otherwise the film is outstanding. Sean Connery and Vivien Merchant are stellar and Ian Bannen, who appeared with Connery before in "The Hill" (1965) (also directed by Sidney Lumet) (one that I have not seen), I have never seen better. (I wonder when we will get the chance to see him in 1965's ""Mister Moses" starring Robert Mitchum?) "The Offence" was put out on MOD at first, and this very good Blu-ray presentation by Kino Lorber, while affordable, does not have many extras. It was based on John Hopkins' play "This Story of Yours." The film is intelligent, but I don't know what it is that I was supposed to get from it. I am sure others won't agree.