HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Sweeney! Shut ItBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: David Wickes
Stars: John Thaw, Dennis Waterman, Barry Foster, Ian Bannen, Diane Keen, Colin Welland, Michael Coles, Joe Melia, Lynda Bellingham, Brian Glover, Morris Perry, Paul Angelis, Nick Brimble, John Alkin, Bernard Kay
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: A social secretary (Lynda Bellingham) is taken to a hotel room, made to record messages on tape and then given a drugs overdose which kills her. The reason? Her death is used to blackmail the government energy secretary Charles Baker (Ian Bannen) into selling off British oil cheaply to the American corporation which may be secretly employing his American press secretary Elliott McQueen (Barry Foster). The death is covered up, but the deceased woman's boyfriend Ronnie Brent (Joe Melia) is not satisfied with the verdict of the coroner, and calls on an old friend in the police - Flying Squad Inspector Jack Regan (John Thaw).

This heavy handed thriller, scripted by Ranald Graham, was the first big screen spin-off from the popular British television series The Sweeney, Sweeney Todd being Cockney rhyming slang for Flying Squad. On TV, the programme had been a sizeable hit, bringing grit, action and belligerence to the traditionally staid UK cop show, and the film makers obviously thought that this would translate to the cinemas, with more brutal violence and extra nudity added for good, sensationalist measure. The result certainly pulls no punches, as Regan and his loyal sidekick George Carter (Dennis Waterman, from the original series) are embroiled with a political plot quite unlike what they're used to, which leaves a trail of bodies in its wake. Where's the car chase, though?

One thing you miss from the series is the "The Sweeney! The Sweeney! Der-neh-neh-ner Der-neh-neh-neh-ner" theme tune (you'd have thought they could have got Waterman to write the theme tune and sing the theme tune, but not in this case). In fact, during that first half hour not a lot happens: Regan and Carter break up a robbery in a massive punch up, Baker is worried at the difficult position he has been put in, and Ronnie won't let go of the idea that his mistress has been murdered. We get a vivid sense of the testosterone-fuelled Flying Squad offices where you can almost smell the Brut aftershave, Regan fires off his two catchphrases - "Shut it!" and "You're nicked!", but the plot meanders.

When Ronnie and his staff are machine-gunned to death at their scrap metal yard, however, Regan becomes suspicious. If the powers behind the plot had simply left Ronnie alone to complain about his theories which nobody else believed, they might have gotten away with it, but now the tough yet fair Regan just won't let go. This results in his car being pulled over by some bent coppers one night, whereupon he's kidnapped, forcefed full of whisky, and put back at the wheel, only for him to crash and get suspended from the force for drunken driving. By this point Regan knows for sure there's some foul play afoot, and tracks down McQueen at his gentlemen's club to find out more. Of course, it's his life in danger as the hitmen arrive.

Unlikely as it sounds, Sweeney! ties in with the cycle of conspiracy movies of the seventies. It's not up there with The Parallax View or All the President's Men, but it does work up a fine mood of aggressive paranoia as Regan is pursued across London. There's one very strong sequence where he teams up with another social secretary on the hitlist and has to flee the killers, his efforts to escape foiled at every turn - the bus stops in the middle of the road, the taxi driver pulls away, the potentially helpful policeman gets murdered. We could have done with more of the camaraderie with Carter from the series - Waterman disappears from the story for long periods - but the dialogue is at a typical level ("Leave it aht, 'e couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery!") and the pace never flags after the uncertain first act. Not as enjoyable as a really top-class episode, but better than you'd expect. Better than the Morecambe and Wise episode, at least. Music by Denis King.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 9136 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
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: