HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Prayer Before Dawn, A
Ragewar
Lowlife
Fashionista
Elizabeth Harvest
Moulin Rouge!
Free Solo
Mifune: The Last Samurai
Stan and Ollie
Girl in the Spider's Web, The
Up from the Depths
Guardians of the Tomb
November Man, The
Overlord
Sebastiane
Lifechanger
Circle of Two
Hell Fest
Oklahoma!
Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The
Vigilante Force
Haunting of Sharon Tate, The
Paradox
Peppermint
Sharkwater Extinction
Isn't It Romantic
Sink the Bismarck!
Possum
Submergence
Slaughterhouse Rulez
   
 
Newest Articles
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
   
 
  Pendulum The law also swung in the SixtiesBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: George Schaefer
Stars: George Peppard, Jean Seberg, Richard Kiley, Charles McGraw, Madeleine Sherwood, Robert F. Lyons, Frank Marth, Marj Dusay, Paul McGrath, Stewart Moss, Isabel Sanford, Dana Elcar, Harry Lewis, Mildred Trares, Robin Raymond
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Captain Frank Matthews (George Peppard) of the Washington police is distracted from the trial of a suspected rapist by the nagging suspicion his wife Adele (Jean Seberg) is having an affair. Thanks to the efforts of diligent defense attorney Woodrow Wilson King (Richard Kiley) the case collapses against Paul Sanderson (Robert F. Lyons). Yet even King harbours doubts as to whether an unstable creep like Sanderson ought to be back out on the street. After railing against an overly lenient justice system, Matthews argues with Adele then takes a room at a hotel. The next day detectives bring news that turns Matthews' world upside down.

George Peppard's enduring television fame as Colonel 'Hannibal' Smith on The A-Team obscures the fact he was a popular leading man throughout the Sixties in westerns, comedies and thrillers. A solid if unspectacular Peppard vehicle, Pendulum may not look much like a film from 1969 with its clean-cut ensemble of sharp-suited characters. Yet its themes cut right to the heart of America's social dilemma at the dawn of the Richard Nixon era. So much of our view of the Sixties is filtered through the legacy of liberal activism and the counterculture it is easy to forget that this period also marked a resurgence of convervativism. Screenwriter Stanley Niss, who also produced, establishes a theme that exploded in the Seventies with a run of maverick cop and urban vigilante thrillers. Namely that the American legal system at the time was supposedly more concerned with protecting the rights of suspected criminals rather than those of their victims.

It is an argument film audiences would here time and again in the likes of Dirty Harry (1971), Death Wish (1974) and a legion of hard-boiled Italian rip-offs. When King's defense team release multiple rapist Paul Sanderson back on the street, Matthews casually tells a lady lawyer he hopes she won't be his next victim. Sure enough, mere moments after release, Sanderson makes a sweaty pass at the unnerved woman. Both Matthews and the judge presiding over the case proselytize that the pendulum (see what they did there?) has swung too far to the left but the film is no right-wing tract. The plot provides a counterpoint once Matthews finds himself on the other side of the law. Presumed guilty even by his cop colleagues and faced with the full weight of the state against him he turns to Woodrow Wilson King. To his credit, King proves as zealous an advocate for Matthews as he was for Paul Sanderson even though he is not above laying the irony on thick. The film also weaves a layer of ambiguity around Matthews and his crumbling, doomed yet still passionate marriage. Peppard plays him as rather cold and robotic to the point where he seems a plausible suspect.

George Schaefer, a television veteran whose other notable film was Steve McQueen's Henrik Ibsen adaptation An Enemy of the People (1978), maintains a methodical pace letting the plot unfold one sober, analytical beat at a time. It is solidly televisual. Not far removed from an episode of Peppard's later detective show Banacek. However, the slow burn ensures the odd shock moment packs a punch. Perhaps inevitably the mystery veers towards the most obvious resolution possible yet to its credit not at the expense of its core themes. Subtlety might not be Pendulum's strong point but it offers an intelligent, balanced treatment of complex ethical dilemmas, giving a fair airing to progressive and reactionary points of view.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 488 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: