|Index||4 reviews in total|
SINFUL DAVEY is based on the true story of Scottish highwayman and thief
Davey Haggart (played by a very young John Hurt), who wants to be just like
his deceased (guess how he died) father.
It is a light-hearted movie that really is neither very spectacular nor special, but is very well-done. A nice movie to see on a rainy afternoon, to say it with a cliché. The film has good performances all around (especially Hurt and Franklin) and some funny bits. It is however nowhere near as funny as the recent ORDINARY DECENT CRIMINAL (also based on a true story).6/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Everything about Sinful Davey is excellent, with one unfortunate exception: James Webb's dull as dishwater screenplay, which is boring, poorly structured, and not very funny. John Hurt does his best as the titular character, a mischievous Scotsman who deserts the army in favour of a life of crime and general naughtiness; Pamela Franklin is lovely to look at as spurned love interest Annie; and Robert Morley is Robert Morley, which is enough. Freddie Young's widescreen cinematography is frequently breathtaking, and I must admit a fondness for Esther Ofarim's interpretation of the title big ballad, which of course sounds much more late 20th century than 18th. But, oh that screenplay: it tries to conjure memories of Tom Jones, but fails miserably.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Despite its large budget, including some attractive Irish locations,
Sinful Davey (played by John Hurt) doesn't quite come off. Perhaps one
of the movie's major faults lies in the casting of John Hurt. When
all's said and done, he does make rather a charmless villain or anti-
hero. The support players all manage to steal every scene from him,
even the heroine, played by Pamela Franklin an attractive minx if
ever there was one and that throws the whole film off balance. That's
a real shame!
It's also a matter of regret that there were not a lot more genuine Scot's accents in evidence. Nevertheless, the movie is vigorously staged and the unusual nature of its period and scenery does lend it a certain bizarre appeal.
Sinful Davey (1969)
** (out of 4)
Pleasant but ultimately disappointing comedy from Huston about a highwayman named Davey (John Hurt) who wants to be like his father even though his father got killed for his lifestyle. Davey goes on one adventure after another as he gets closer and closer to danger but thankfully the woman (Pamela Franklin) who loves him is constantly showing up to save him. Apparently this film had two different previews, both disasters yet Huston refused to edit the film so the producer had to do it for him. This, in return, set Huston off who pretty much disowned the version that was eventually released and seen here. I don't believe Huston's version has ever been released or seen since those two previews but one has to wonder if anything longer than what's here could have been taken by anyone. I should say, anyone but Huston because while watching this comedy I couldn't help but imagine Huston sitting in his chair, smoking a cigar and laughing his butt off at everything on the screen. The movie remains pleasant from start to finish because of Hurt's fine performance and the loving care that obviously went into making it but in the end there's just not enough laughs. The movie is technically impressive and I really did love the pacing and style that Huston made it. The movie has an old-fashioned look that perfectly suits the situations and the pacing is fast just like the main character. Hurt is obviously having a lot of fun in the film as he's perfectly fine as the dashing young man who won't stop until someone else stops him. Franklin isn't too bad either and we get Nigel Davenport and Ronald Fraser turning in fine work. Look quick for Huston's daughter Angelica. This film was based on a true story and I couldn't help but think the book probably had a lot of stuff that didn't make it into the movie but I also figured a lot of it might not have worked and just got cut out. Either way, this is an interesting piece from Huston but the lack of laughs pretty much kill it.
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