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In Sidney Lumet's harrowing portrayal of police brutality, Detective Sergeant Johnson has been with the British Police Force for twenty years. In that time, the countless murders, rapes, and other serious crimes he has had to investigate has left a terrible mark on him. His anger and aggression that had been suppressed for years finally surfaces when interviewing a suspect, Baxter, whom Johnson is convinced is the man that has been carrying out a series of brutal attacks on young girls. Throughout the interview, Johnson brutally beats Baxter, and during this ordeal, he inadvertently reveals that the state of his own mind is probably no better than that of the offenders who committed the crimes that disgusted Johnson originally.Written by
David Claydon <email@example.com>
After returning to save the James Bond franchise with "Diamonds Are Forever," Sean Connery made a complete left-field choice for his next role. In "The Offence," he plays a stressed-out police officer on the verge of a nervous breakdown who is in a physical and psychological battle with a paedophile suspect he has in custody. Connery's character is also struggling with his own paedophile tendencies. It is an adaptation of John Hopkins play "This Story of Yours." It is essentially a two-hander for the most part with Connery and Ian Bannen (as the paedophile) trying to get the better of one another in the interrogation room of a police station.
Even though Sean Connery won his only Oscar for "The Untouchables", for me, this is by far his best performance. He is an absolute powerhouse in this going from shouting, snarling rage to raving and ranting about paedophiles to then sobbing like a child and begging forgiveness.
Ian Bannen is, if anything, even better than Connery here. His character veers from confused innocence to leering guilt, from screaming frustration to self-pity and then back to arrogance. It's an amazing performance. Sadly, Ian Bannen was killed in a car crash a few years back. A huge loss to the acting community.
While "The Offence" on the surface seems like a very British police procedural drama, it was, surprisingly, directed by the American Sidney Lumet. Like Lumet's best movies ("Twelve Angry Men," "The Hill", "Serpico" and "Dog Day Afternoon") this film features a character in an extremely pressurized situation. It's brave film-making at its darkest. Hollywood certainly took notice as Lumet was chosen to direct a young Al Pacino in two of his breakthrough movies "Serpico" in 1973 and "Dog Day Afternoon" in 1975 after this.
This is the kind of film that would not only never be made today, to even suggest it as an idea for a film would probably be the end of your career. So, if you're tired of CGI monsters and explosions and you want to experience raw acting at its finest, get a copy of this film. It is uncomfortable viewing due to its disturbing subject matter, but you won't see better acting anywhere. Highly recommended.
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