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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Rape Of Richard Beck (1985)

An arrogant and insensitive cop (Richard Crenna) often ignores procedure and acts on his own. Victims of violent crime take a backseat to his own "rules". But when he's off duty and decides to bust two thugs (Nicolas Worth, M.C. Gainey), the tables are turned when they take his revolver away from him and beat and rape him. With his world turned upside down, he must re-evaluate his mindset. The subject of male rape is rarely, if ever, the focus of a film. Usually, it's incidental as in DELIVERANCE or I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD. Unfortunately, this was made for TV and it plays out like a TV movie. It's weakly written and certainly its portrayal of police is one dimensional. All the cops in the movie are neanderthal, crude types. If they had only balanced it with at least one sensitive and normal policeman, it might have gone a long way in at least appearing to be realistic. As a movie, it might do some good as mandated viewing for sensitivity training for police. But what is genuinely good, better than good actually, is Richard Crenna's performance. Crenna is one of those generic TV actors (like David Janssen, John Forsythe or James Franciscus) who seemed to thrive on TV but never quite seeming to belong on the big screen. Here, Crenna gives a beautifully modulated performance far above the material he's given and gives an indication that he's a far better actor than he's credited with. Directed by Karen Arthur. With Meredith Baxter, Pat Hingle, George Dzundza, Frances Lee McCain and Joanna Kerns.

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