Directed By: Michael Apted
Written By: Leon Griffiths
Based on the book “Whose Little Girl Are You” by: David Craig aka James Tucker
Cinematography: Dennis Lewiston
Editor: John Shirley
Cast: Stacy Keach, David Hemmings, Edward Fox, Stephen Boyd, Carol White, Alan Ford, Freddie Starr
A dangerous, violent gang kidnaps a woman and her daughter to extort some money from her rich husband. He and her down-on-his-luck ex-cop ex-husband decide to deal with the kidnappers themselves.
While not the most exciting heist film. The film does keep the audience interest. As the opening where we follow a drunken Stacy leach through the UK transit system until he falls down a set of stairs and collapses. He is then taken to a hospital and put through rehab. Then he flirts and slater sleeps with his rehab nurse. As well as has a drink or two.
This is before the plot even begins but alerts us that what we are watching will be more character-based then anything. Getting us used to our hero or really our anti-hero. By the end he is really one of the few honest and moral characters. Once he gets home then the plot moves forward.
Throughout the film, Keach’s Character stays sober but seems to drink heavily when the pressure is on and when he is needed he seems to be able to dry out after getting wasted and is brand new after a few hours. He doesn’t have leading man looks and is usually the toughest guy in the room but might be the smartest. Even as an alcoholic who never seems to want to quit. He is tied into the case as it involves his ex being kidnapped. Like the film, we get to learn about all the figures involved.
Once the third act begins. So does the action there isn’t A lot but it seems to be the release the film builds towards. Then once it ends the film is more matter of fact and take care of. The film is definitely an old school where you could make a mainstream movie for adults that takes it’s time to set up instead of straight to or putting in action scenes to placate the audience with action until the finale.
The villain proves to be the evilest of all. He has a more gentlemanly approach first but then slowly reveals a more vicious side. Though he does have a weakness. Which seems to be the only way for him to show any humanity. He is memorably played by Edward Fox
The kidnappers second in command has doubts and seems to be the only one who has the right ideas and ends up being correct. Even though he initiates a rape. Which has a scene that is disturbing and still maintains the film’s subtle side. As she is soon treated like a maid or slave by the kidnappers.
This is a film you soak in as you watch. Getting to know the characters, moods, and tones of the film and story. As going with the unorthodox tone there is a side adventure to a massage parlor that only adds to the film’s quirks and up’s the nudity and gives the film a bit of exploitation. Though it does tie into the Story barely. Showing it trusts it’s Audience to follow even some Ridiculous detours