HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Pendulum The law also swung in the Sixties
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: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 1414 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: