World Theatre: Season 1, Episode 8

Brand (11 Aug. 1959)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
8.1
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Title: Brand (11 Aug 1959)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dilys Hamlett ...
Agnes
James Maxwell ...
Ejnar
Patrick Wymark ...
Mayor
...
Doctor & Provost
Olive McFarland ...
Gerd
Enid Lorimer ...
Brand's Mother
...
Villager
Joby Blanshard ...
Guide (as Joby Blanchard)
William McLaughlin ...
Guide's Son
June Bailey ...
Woman from the Headland
Anita Giorgi ...
Gypsy Woman
Paul Bailey ...
Villager
Howard Baker ...
Villager
Leonard Davies ...
Villager
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Drama

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11 August 1959 (UK)  »

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Showcases Patrick McGoohan's dedication and versatility.
10 August 2003 | by (A Village in the Central US) – See all my reviews

People who only know Patrick McGoohan as a 60's action star or William Wallace's nemesis in Braveheart should see this if they get the chance. This award-winning performance is his most demanding dramatic role; not many actors could make an audience pity a man who was so unlikeable or pull off the balancing act on the edge of sanity this role requires.

Brand is a priest tormented by his calling. He believes man can only achieve salvation if he is willing to give all to God; if a person doesn't give all then he might as well be giving nothing. He also believes man's own worst enemy is inside himself; it's man's own wish for comfort and status which saps his will to give all to God.

Because of this philosophy, he impresses his childhood village with an act of heroism (insanity?) in the name of faith and they invite him to stay on as their priest, but he also refuses last rights to his mother, loses his child (whom he later refers to as an "idol") and then his wife, and attempts to lead his congregation on a march to the death for their own salvation.

The congregation stone him and leave him for dead in the mountains. In his delerium a vision of his wife appears, which he dismisses as an act of the Devil. But suddenly, momentarily lucid at the point of death, he feels the full weight of all he has lost and begs God to tell him what secret he has missed if the will to give "All or Nothing" is not enough to enter heaven.

This is a truly breathtaking performance that is not for the timid. But it's a thinking movie which requires concentration and suspension of disbelief, so you should wait until you're in the mood to think before watching it.


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