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The Offence
Format: DVD|Change
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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.
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on July 18, 2011
THE OFFENCE is a tight, taut, gripping drama of psychological suspense that showcases what may be Sean Connery's finest performance. He plays a police inspector whose perception of the world, and his part of it, has begun to fall to pieces after he's seen one bit of brutality too many. The always remarkable, always underrated Ian Bannen plays a suspect in the abduction of a schoolgirl who proves too much of a match for the disintegrating sergent in the interrogation room. Sidney Lumet made many films on many wide-ranging subjects, but always kept returning to crime, law enforcement, and the justice system for his strongest, best-wrought films. Here his viewpoint wavers between the objective and the subjective, creating a visible tension. The camera is so much inside the sergeant's view for so much of the film that we feel the space of the frame straining with its effort to get outside of his nightmare. Lumet did some of his best work with Connery. This film stands with THE HILL as two of the finest works of both the actor and the director.
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on August 2, 2011
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. Connery gave the million dollars to charity and asked that The Offence be financed. Oddly enough I understand that Connery never did request that UA finance that second film. It's unlikely that this film ever would have seen the light of day otherwise as well. Here, Connery gives one of his best performances. The film came out in 1973. I saw it in Los Angeles in 1978 or 1979 when it received it's "Southern California Premiere"; perhaps that is why Connery was never nominated for an Oscar for his perfomance, because maybe no one from the Academy had a chance to see the film back in 1973. One of the darkest films I've ever seen with many incredibly eerie scenes, this movie is not for everyone. It concerns the hunt for and capture of a child molester. The essential conceit of the movie breaks down at the end however, because the movie suggests that Connery's inner demons are the result of the terrible things he has seen as a police officer, but I did not accept the idea that those memories could have resulted in Connery's specific pathology as the film strongly suggests.
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on January 31, 2016
Dark and somewhat hard to follow but a classic early Sean Connery movie. Adding Trevor Howard to the mix only added move value to the movie. Being filmed in England you can see the differences in how the British and the Americans deal with crime. I think it probably displays a very true to life view of how things were done in England in the 70's. If you are a Sean Connery fan you will not want to miss this movie.
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on May 14, 2016
In spite of its poor production values and low budget, this is a wonderful showcase for Sean Connery's dramatic talents. The issues here are important and complex - very psychological, and Connery is up to the task. Who ever thought he was a real actor? As a detective chasing down child molesters, he comes face to face with his own inner demons and propensities, and gives such a powerful performance. Trevor Howard as his superior and Ian Bannen as the perpetrator give excellent performances as well. This is really more of a stage play than a movie because it mostly revolves around the dialogue and the visuals are not much to look at.
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on January 29, 2018
Weird offbeat film, from Sidney Lumet no less. Check it out.
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on February 5, 2014
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.
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on May 31, 2015
Great SC movie
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on August 20, 2016
Connery is brilliant. One of his greatest performances. DVD Blu-Ray mastering O.K.
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on September 25, 2015
Tense thriller. Sean Connery's best performance ever. The great Sidney Lumet directed.
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