HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, The You Don't Have To Be Mad To Work Here
Year: 1967
Director: Peter Brook
Stars: Patrick Magee, Ian Richardson, Michael Williams, Clifford Rose, Glenda Jackson, Freddie Jones, Hugh Sullivan, John Hussey, William Morgan Sheppard, Jonathan Burn, Jeanette Landis, John Steiner, Henry Woolf, Leon Lissek
Genre: Horror, Musical, Drama, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1808 and the Marquis de Sade (Patrick Magee), judged to be insane by dint of his debauchery, has been sent to the Charenton asylum for the rest of his life, but manages to amuse himself by writing and staging plays starring his fellow inmates. Plays such as the one he is putting on today, where he tells the story of Jean-Paul Marat (Ian Richardson), who was one of the instigators of the French Revolution fifteen years before but who never lived to see it come to fruition thanks to being murdered in the bath where he was confined due to his terrible skin condition. The head of the establishment (Clifford Rose) remains concerned, however...

And he has good reason to be, especially as he took the mentally dubious decision to watch the play along with his wife and daughter actually in the large room where it is being held, sitting next the wall as the action plays out mere inches from their noses. Just one of the curious choices in this, the memorise the notable title film version of the award-winning Peter Brook staging of the English translation of Peter Weiss's play which became legendary in theatrical circles for its ambition and arresting intelligence, not something that a few keen commentators thought was well translated to the cinema, and that in spite of Brook making it his business to helm the production himself for faithfulness' sake.

Being a filmed play, this was one of those movies which took place on a single set, and although it was a fairly large one the sense of claustrophobia that this can bring about was well to the fore here, except in this case the feeling of being trapped in the asylum and counting down the minutes until it all kicked off was all too palpable, leading many to identify it as a horror movie. Certainly Magee's glowering presence had lent credence to many works in that genre down the years, indeed as far as the movies went this respected theatre actor became typecast in such roles, so it was all too fitting that one of his finest screen appearances, if not the finest, would be in the depiction of what many would describe as a monster of sorts.

Although there was no proof the actual Marquis de Sade did instigate the behaviour seen here, and that perhaps the writers were offering him more literary powers than he possessed for the sake of the drama, the philosophical questions that the fictional incarnation relishes were fiercely thought-provoking. Even as the head administrator continually intervenes to stop things getting out of hand and making uncomfortable political truths less plain than the Marquis would like, the essential issues with the whole revolution business are easy to pick out. Mainly this boils down to the way that no matter how noble the ideals, as Marat's are shown to be, once the violence starts it's difficult to keep in check.

That is to say, even the revolutionaries should be watching their backs after the blood has started to flow, as those new faces in charge begin to behave just like those corrupt, even tyrannical, rulers they have deposed and probably executed. But it goes further than that as the inmates are inspired by de Sade's rhetoric, which puts the actors in an interesting position: they are playing two roles at once, one of the mentally deranged, and the other of the historical characters who have to make some dramatic sense in the play within a play. It's a tricky balancing act, but one of the impressive features was that we as the audience were always clear on which voice was speaking, undoubtedly managed by Brook retaining the services of so many of the theatre cast, including Glenda Jackson (on record as hating her role) as Marat's assassin in her film debut. Occasionally to convey the world spiralling out of control, whether within or without the asylum walls, this can get a little silly with all that face pulling, but the fact it held the attention for the full two hours - with songs! - indicated the success of the enterprise.

For brevity, aka: Marat/Sade
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6908 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
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: