HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Betrayed Grim Heartland
Year: 1988
Director: Costa-Gavras
Stars: Debra Winger, Tom Berenger, John Heard, Betsy Blair, John Mahoney, Ted Levine, Jeffrey DeMunn, Albert Hall, David Clennon, Robert Swan, Richard Libertini, Maria Valdez, Brian Bosak, Alan Wilder, Clifford A. Pellow, Ralph Foody, Shawn Sheps
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A radio shock jock who made listeners tune in to hear him take on the most obnoxious views in the American Midwest by being just as obnoxious to them right back went too far recently. After a show where he, a Jewish man, invited racists and antisemites to call up and air their prejudices, he managed to anger some very dangerous people: white supremacist groups, which sent a contingent to intercept him at his car in an underground car park, where he was shot dead and graffiti was sprayed across his body. The FBI are investigating, but what of the denizens of the heartland who used to tune into his show? People like Katie Phillips (Debra Winger) and Gary Simmons (Tom Berenger)?

Costa-Gavras directed a Joe Eszterhas screenplay? Yes, it happened, though this was off the back of the writer's big hit thriller Jagged Edge, not after he had become one of the most notorious scribes in Hollywood after Basic Instinct. The director had enjoyed a hit himself with Missing, but found the rest of the eighties rather more hit and miss, with this piece receiving mixed reviews, largely because its central premise contained too many illogicalities to prevent it being anything other than a bumpy ride as far as drama went. Despite that, it did OK at the box office and has since picked up a cult following, though you do wonder at the motives of the movie's most ardent fans given its language.

Like Oliver Stone's Talk Radio released a few months later, the storyline was inspired by the real-life murder of Alan Berg, a shock jock like the one played by Richard Libertini at the beginning of this. He was targeted by extreme right wingers who pulled the trigger on him, literally, and made headline news across the world as evidence that Ronald Reagan's America was breeding rampant racism and hatred as an effect of his pro-nationalist stance, though here we were guided to see that section of society were still wont to believe that the Jews and the blacks were working in tandem to take over American Government no matter how right of centre the occupants of the White House were.

What did this have to do with Katie and Gary? If you did not know, every review would spoil it for you, so here goes likewise: Katie, who romances widower Gary to get close to him, is not all she seems, and about twenty minutes into their narrative we discover she is an FBI agent gone undercover to seek the killers of the broadcaster. Is she on the right track? It would be a short film if she wasn't, and Betrayed stretched past the two-hour mark with its thriller tendencies well to the fore as the agent, actually named Cathy Weaver in her day job, uncovers a cell of a neo-Nazi movement which is getting up to such nasty business as staging The Most Dangerous Game-style lynchings as sport, holding holiday camps to plan the takeover of America through terrorist acts, and robbing banks to fund themselves.

The banks, they believe, are controlled by the Jews, which justifies their actions in their own twisted thoughts. So you see, there were some blatant thriller shenanigans here, but Costa-Gavras wanted you to think over the damage that racism can do to ordinary minds, which has the script populated by characters mouthing the most awful language to demonstrate that. How much of this you could take was a matter of tolerance, but it was uncomfortable to see how much Eszterhas was keen to employ it for shock effect himself, sort of like he was getting away with something because we were intended to find it offensive and not enjoy it. There was an element of a little kid getting away with saying rude words, not least because there were genuine little kids doing precisely that throughout. If that didn't turn you off, Cathy's actions were difficult to believe, going as far as regularly sleeping with ringleader Gary and even falling in love with him; she made little sense as a professional, more as a statement against prejudice. But for all the misgivings, it did keep you watching to the ambiguous ending. Music by Bill Conti.

[The BFI Blu-ray of this has the following features:

Presented in High Definition
Guardian Interview with Costa-Gavras (1984, 71 mins, audio only): the Oscar winning director discusses his career in this interview recorded four years before the release of Betrayed
Newly recorded audio commentary by filmmaker and film historian Jim Hemphill
Interview with Joe Eszterhas (2013, 96 mins, audio only): recorded at The London Screenwriters Festival, the incomparable writer of Betrayed and Basic Instinct is interviewed by filmmaker and author Chris Jones and also fields questions from the audience
Interview with William Bradford Huie (1968, 30 mins): the journalist, author and civil rights activist is interviewed by Bernard Braden for his never broadcast series Now and Then
Original Theatrical Trailer
**FIRST PRESSING ONLY** Fully illustrated booklet with new essays by film writer and programmer Philip Concannon and film critic Jessica Kiang.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1679 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
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: