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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sitting Target (1972)

In prison for murder, when a rather beastly convict (Oliver Reed) discovers his wife (Jill St. John) is pregnant by another man and wants a divorce, he goes berserk. He plots an escape in order to kill her. This is a vicious little thriller with a rather nasty underbelly. A more unpleasant group of characters would be hard to find, one can't even summon up much sympathy for the intended victim. But it's undeniably compelling. The film's over elaborate plot is confusing at times and some of the motivations of characters like Edward Woodward's policeman aren't entirely clear and I'm still not sure who Frank Finlay was supposed to be. But Douglas Hickox (THEATRE OF BLOOD) makes sure you don't have time to think, which is just as well I suppose, as he races to the film's gloomy finish. Reed is quite good as is Ian McShane as his slimey fellow escapee but it's difficult to judge St. John's performance as she's dubbed (unable to do a decent English accent?). There's an effective score by Stanley Myers. With Freddie Jones, Robert Beatty and Jill Townsend.

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