HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You Don't Nomi
Man from the Alamo, The
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Virgin Soldiers, The Military Servicing
Year: 1969
Director: John Dexter
Stars: Lynn Redgrave, Hywel Bennett, Nigel Davenport, Nigel Patrick, Rachel Kempson, Jack Shepherd, Michael Gwynn, Tsai Chin, Christopher Timothy, Don Hawkins, Geoffrey Hughes, Roy Holder, Riggs O'Hara, Gregory Phillips, Wayne Sleep, James Cosmo, Graham Crowden
Genre: Comedy, Drama, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Private Briggs (Hywel Bennett), known as Briggsy to his friends, was stationed in Singapore and Malaya during the early fifties, but for much of the time he was relegated to a job as a clerk in the offices there. At night he and his fellow soldiers would frequent the nightclubs in the hope that they would get lucky with the local women, but as the kind of woman who visited that sort of place was a prostitute, the men were guaranteed some action if they could meet their price. But Briggs was a virgin, and when he went back to the home of Lucy (Tsai Chin), he could not go through with it...

Based on Leslie Thomas's autobiographical book, The Virgin Soldiers showed that Britain was getting in on the sex and violence act that Hollywood was becoming adept at, what with the loosening of censorship allowing more adult material to enter the cinemas. Of course, that's about all it had in common with the likes of Easy Rider as here the establishment concerns which had influenced British films for decades were still very much to the fore, and how much more establishment could you get for subject matter than the Army? This had more to do with Carry On Sergeant than it might have admitted.

Filming on location in Singapore and Malaya helped quite a bit for that authentic atmosphere, and much of the script, which had input from Ian La Frenais, rang true as convincing experiences from the era it depicted. The soldiers of the title were all boys really, with their first taste of life in the adult world courtesy of being forced into National Service, something few of them have any thoughts about challenging as "it's the law". We see life on the base through the eyes of Briggs, but this is bolstered by another character who doesn't want to be there.

She is officer's daughter Philippa Raskin (Lynn Redgrave, very good but not quite glamorous enough), who all the privates want to get together with, but never get the chance to as she is always in the officer's compound or teaching the little children on the base. Briggs takes a chance and waits for her one afternoon, then asks her if she wants to go for a walk, an offer she accepts, but to her he is simply another example of why life here is "rotten". There's a dance held there which Phillippa attends with her parents because her father has told her everyone thinks she is a lesbian, and a ghastly occasion it is too, neatly encapsulating the gulf between doing your duty and what you really want to be getting on with.

Briggs doesn't lose his virginity to Philippa as you might expect, and neither does she to him because she mistakes Sergeant Driscoll for him and they spend the night together. Driscoll is played by Nigel Davenport in one of his masterclasses of how to essay the role of the military man, a tough but fair type who sees clearly where the other characters have gone wrong and veers between bemusement and disgust at their antics. As the situation in Malaya deteriorates, the clerks are pressed into service and the story ends with a battle on a train where the laughs that you may have been enjoying dry up pretty sharpish. The Virgin Soldiers captures the camaraderie, but also the fear of the circumstances the likes of Briggs found himself in, and is very effective for what it sets out to do even if it doesn't look as daring as it once did. Music by Peter Greenwell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2908 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: