HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  Patty Hearst Victim Blaming
Year: 1988
Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames, Frances Fisher, Jodi Long, Olivia Barash, Dana Delaney, Marek Johnson, Kitty Swink, Peter Kowanko, Tom O'Rourke, Scott Kraft, Jeff Imada, Ermal Williamson, Elaine Revard, Marc Siegler, Toni Attell
Genre: BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In February of 1974, nineteen-year-old Patricia Hearst (Natasha Richardson), also known as Patty, was a student at Berkeley, living with her fiancé in an apartment there, when something unexpected happened. She was the granddaughter of famed, some say notorious, millionaire and media magnate William Randolph Hearst and one of the heirs to the family fortune but did not suspect she may be in danger because of her status. However, that's precisely what she was, and that night a gang broke into her home, tied her up and dragged her out to the back of a waiting car where she was locked in and driven off. What occurred over the next months would leave questions for years.

The mystery of what happened to Patty Hearst was one of the cause celebres of the mid-nineteen-seventies, but this did not concern itself on whether she was kidnapped, or her eventual rescue, more what could have possibly been going on in her head all that time. This was down to the apparent Stockholm Syndrome she fell prey to, by her own account, seeing her join her kidnappers in terrorist acts of defiance against the state - or a bank robbery and a shooting, if you prefer. Those abductors called themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army, and were part of a network, loose or more strongly connected, of left wing insurgent groups which proliferated in this decade in many nations.

It appeared the hippy dream of the sixties had curdled into radicalism for a number of people, but director Paul Schrader, working from Nicholas Kazan's adaptation of Hearst's own book, regarded the drive for earth-shattering revolution not as a call to arms, but as a manifestation of insanity, a madness that had exhibited itself in the more impressionable population as sloganeering violence, convincing themselves they were doing the right thing when as shown here, this rabid desire to shake up the status quo was less political engagement, and more the malaise that politics was bringing about; let's not forget the mainstream was bringing about its own crisis in sanity and credibility.

Into this morass fell Patty, who we are led to believe never had a serious political thought before, so when she was plunged into the radicalism of her kidnappers, she... what? Played along but bided her time until she was rescued or could escape? Or was she brainwashed into swallowing their agitation hook, line and sinker, hence her gun-toting appearance at the bank robbery and possible involvement in the shooting later on? Hearst herself always presented a victim status for her predicament, one the authorities were sceptical about, and Schrader, though sticking to her story as set out on the page, remained subtly sceptical within Richardson's skilled performance of uncertainty, adding details that either had you thinking yes, it could have been as she said, but then again...

She was certainly frightened of her captors, and when they were so out of their minds on revolutionary fervour no wonder as they could not be reasoned with without a hefty dose of deprogramming (the ghastly spirit of the Manson Family once again tightening its grip over the seventies). This was put across with claustrophobic unease and even distress, from the opening half hour where she was largely kept tied up and blindfolded in a cupboard for months while the so-called army delivered their speeches at her, to later on where we are invited to consider Patty went along with them because she was terrified they would murder her if she told them she wanted to be set free. Once again, the contradictions abound, and the drama reaches a stage where the impression is more that the subject can't get her thinking clear as her sense of self has been so besieged by fear and confusion. No, this didn't answer any questions, or not the ones that were most pertinent, but it got the feeling of suffocating dread so spot on that it became an ordeal to watch in itself, and not necessarily in a "good" way. Music by Scott Johnson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 747 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Paul Schrader  (1946 - )

American writer and director, a former critic, who specialises in troubled souls. After writing Taxi Driver for Martin Scorcese (who has also filmed Schrader's Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead) he made his directorial debut with Blue Collar. Although this was not a happy experience, he was not discouraged, and went on to give us Hardcore, American Gigolo, a remake of Cat People, Mishima, The Comfort of Strangers, Light Sleeper, Affliction, Auto Focus and a doomed Exorcist sequel. After the latter his output became troubled in films like The Canyons or Dying of the Light, but First Reformed won him his best reactions in years. He also scripted The Yakuza and Old Boyfriends with his brother Leonard Schrader.

 
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
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: