HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
   
 
Newest Articles
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
   
 
  Home Before Midnight Underage RageBuy this film here.
Year: 1979
Director: Pete Walker
Stars: James Aubrey, Alison Elliott, Mark Burns, Juliet Harmer, Richard Todd, Debbie Linden, Andy Forray, Chris Jagger, Ian Sharrock, Sharon Maughan, Leonard Kavanaugh, Joan Pendleton, Antonia Pemberton, Ivor Roberts, Charles Collingwood, Jeff Rawle
Genre: Drama, Trash
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Two girls, Ginny (Alison Elliott) and Carol (Debbie Linden), are hitchhiking along a motorway in the south of England, travelling from Nottingham to their London homes, when they are picked up by a truck driver. He takes them to a transport cafe where he buys them a coffee and introduces them to his buddy, evidently hoping to take things further judging by the way he has been running his hand over Carol's thigh on the journey, but Ginny is reluctant and heads off on her own, leaving her friend to it in the cab parked in a leafy side road. In the meantime, Ginny is picked up by a Good Samaritan, Mike Beresford (James Aubrey), a songwriter who might be wondering if he's in for a good time...

Director Pete Walker was always on firmer ground with his horror movies and their peculiarly nineteen-seventies, British sensibility but when it came to branching out into other ventures, that ground became considerably shakier. Nowhere more so than in Home Before Midnight, which he might have wanted the audience to believe was a serious drama on an equally serious subject; while the latter was certainly true enough, the former left a production straining manfully for adult sophistication yet only wound up wanting for anything so considered and thoughtful. Once you knew what the issue Walker was grappling with was, you could begin to mark off all the places where he was going wrong.

They might well have been apparent back in 1978 - or 1979, since the film was held over for a year - but watching it in the twenty-first century all those missteps and that deliberate getting the wrong end of the argument, not to mention presenting the problem in hand with the crassest mindset possible remained on the side of morality in its own opinion, if not yours. Of course, it's easy to look back on the past and judge its social mores, or lack of them, by the standards of the time you're living in, but this took its issues from contemporary, still relevant concerns and here they were extremely difficult to ignore, as difficult to dismiss as the frequently laughable attempts at savoir-faire as though Walker and his screenwriter Murray Smith were cultured gentlemen about town and not looking to make excuses for randy blokes who don't know how to control themselves.

It wasn't rape that was on the table here, it was a grown man having sex with an underage girl, as Mike and Ginny fall in love without him knowing she's fourteen years old, but then after he finds out he continues the relationship until her parents discover what they've been up to. Fair enough, there was a basis for an emotive melodrama here, but when you saw the amount of times Walker shot scenes of Ginny in a state of undress, almost always entirely gratuitously, then you had to wonder what kind of person - what kind of man, really - he was appealling to. Needless to say actress Elliott was over eighteen years of age at the time, and looked it, as was her screen schoolfriend Linden (who adds a rather ghoulish interest after the fact as she died young of a heroin overdose in real life).

But if Walker had used a fourteen-year-old actress would he have shot the same scenes? Of course not, he'd be breaking the law for a start, which is what makes Home Before Midnight so ludicrous as a sincere examination of its subject. So if you couldn't take any of that seriously, what was there left to entertain? Plenty if watching none more seventies cultural resonances was your thing, with the band Mike writes for one of those plentiful instances of a fictional world devising a pop reference failing to ring true in the slightest: the beat combo, played by Sky High hitmakers Jigsaw (then past their prime by three years) plus Mick Jagger's brother Chris Jagger miming lead vocals, were called Bad Accident and their current record was graced with the name Tommy T-Shirt, something we blessedly don't get to hear. Add in "as themselves" Radio 1 DJs Anne Nightingale (interviewing on TV) and "Diddy" David Hamilton (uncomfortably lecherous) and the results were pickled for all time in the late seventies, supposedly sympathetic to all parties but actually backing the wayward and flustered Mike all the way.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1576 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
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: