VideoVista covers rental and retail titles in all genres and movie or TV categories, with filmmaker interviews, auteur profiles, top 10 lists,
plus regular prize draws.
INDEX OF ALL REVIEWS
SEARCH THIS SITE
TOP 10 LISTS
INTERVIEWS & PROFILES
RETRO REVIEWS SECTION
ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTORS
SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER
SUPPORT THIS SITE -
SHOP USING THESE LINKS
visit other Pigasus Press sites...
The ZONE - genre nonfiction
Soundchecks - music reviews
Rotary Action - helicopter movies
cast: Donald Pleasance, Fran�oise Dorl�ac, Lionel Stander, William Mervyn, and Jack MacGowran
director: Roman Polanski
107 minutes (12) 1966
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Odeon DVD Region 2 retail
review by J.C. Hartley
Not as scary as Repulsion, and not as menacing as the Pinteresque/
Beckett screenplay would suggest, this is a wonderfully black comedy, made outstanding by a performance of particular idiosyncratic brilliance
by the normally saturnine Donald Pleasance.
Dickie (Lionel Stander) and Albie (Jack MacGowran, The Fearless Vampire Killers)
are gangsters, making their way over the causeway to
Holy Island. Dickie has a wounded arm; Albie has been gut-shot. Dickie sees Teresa (Fran�oise Dorl�ac) philandering with her pretty-boy neighbour
Christopher, while the latter's parents converse with Teresa's husband George (Donald Pleasance).
Dickie takes over George and Teresa's home, the 'castle' on Lindisfarne Island. Dickie is waiting for rescue by his boss Mr Katelbach, after
a botched job. Albie dies, and Dickie forces the couple to help in his burial. Teresa goads George about his inadequacy, and the visit by some
of George's old friends and their annoying spoilt brat of a child eventually trigger a reaction in George. Dickie's abandonment by Katelbach
and George's acquisition of balls signal a final confrontation.
A scenario, not as disturbing as say The Homecoming or The Birthday
Party by Pinter, nor as complex as Beckett's Waiting For Godot, but in the same essential mood. Pleasance, who would normally
play a role of great menace, is here the worm who turns. He is hugely watchable. Lionel Stander is Ernest Borgnine crossed with Lee Marvin.
A fabulous extras package provides a stills gallery, a trailer for Repulsion and a South Bank Show interview with Polanski, plus
an excellent making-of interview featurette which reveals how Lionel Stander came to live his character.
Dorl�ac was arguably never as attractive as her sister Catherine, but her sulky-face and aggression, was sexier. Donald Pleasance steals the
picture with his vulnerability and his tentative relationship with his bullying tormentor Dickie. The UK loves its gangsters, but the portrayal
is never straightforward.