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The Reckoning (1970)

Michael Marler, a successful business man in London, is about to make his way to the top. The death of his father brings him - after 37 years - back to his hometown Liverpool, where he is ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Marler
Ann Bell ...
Rosemary Marler
Lilita De Barros ...
Tom Kempinski ...
Kenneth Hendel ...
Douglas Wilmer ...
Barbara Ewing ...
Zena Walker ...
Hilda Greening
Paul Rogers ...
John Hazlitt
Gwen Nelson ...
Marler's Mother
Christine Hargreaves ...
Ernest C. Jennings ...
Dad (John Joe) (as Ernest Jennings)
Joyce Eglington
Godfrey Quigley ...
Dr. Carolan
Desmond Perry ...
Father Madden


Michael Marler, a successful business man in London, is about to make his way to the top. The death of his father brings him - after 37 years - back to his hometown Liverpool, where he is confronted with his lost Irish roots. He finds out that his father died because of a fight with some anglo-saxon teddy boys. It becomes "a matter of honour" for him, to take his revenge without involving the British police. Written by Michael Schoemburg <101476.3623@compuserve.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


The most successful man in town. At home. At work. At play.




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 March 1970 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Die Abrechnung  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


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Did You Know?


The last cinema film of Malcolm Arnold See more »


(at around 32 mins) Marler sips his fresh pint of stout, leaving it about 2 inches from the top of the glass. In the next shot, the stout is within an inch of the top of the glass. See more »

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User Reviews

Bravura performance by Nicol Williamson, and a great Jack Gold ensemble film
27 December 2011 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I disagree with the first reviewer - this is a bravura performance by Nicol Williamson and much better than 'Get Carter'. As an indication of how much I respected this film, my father was in the film industry in London at the time and I was in Manchester as a student. I saw the film poorly advertised in a small cinema and felt it was wholly spoiled by the poor performance of the film's marketing and distributors. So much so that on leaving the cinema I telephoned my father at once from a call box and told him how highly I rated it. He may have been startled to hear from me as I was the typical uncommunicative student, never writing home.

The film not only has Williamson but also Rachel Roberts giving a good performance, and the ensemble cast does some fine work - there is a brilliant mocking of life in a Virginia Water type of suburbia where all have quality cars in their drives and trite conversation over canapés. It is critical in its style of the mass demolition of the Liverpool slums and is almost elegiac at what is lost thereby, much in the same way as was The Likely Lads TV series. 'Get Carter' is more vulgar, with Michael Caine producing shotguns and leaving bodies about. Williamson is much more earthy - there is a brutal kicking in the film which really makes you wince.

It's also, in its way, a tribute to a kind of Brendan Behan Irishness that was being squeezed out of Britain's cities - the hard-working, hard-living heavy-drinking workers who actually built things with their muscles as opposed to the prissy types who never dirtied their hands. This is why the Williamson character is such an outcast in his smooth London corporate job (in the heart of a City of London that would over the next 15 years also be transformed) but nonetheless effective in his own rough and ready blunt way.

One superb moment is at the end of the film when Williamson driving his Jaguar at breakneck speed has jumped a Stop sign at a roadworks and is racing down a single track sure that oncoming traffic must be starting his way shortly. He just gets away with it, at the expense of a few traffic cones and similar, and one of those in the car says words to the effect "If you can get away with that, you can get away with anything". As he does (I won't spoil the plot by saying more). This is not a sanitized look at Liverpool but a cold stare. Jack Gold made a great film here and it deserved better of its distributors who did not have faith in the product.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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