After their parents divorce, one daughter lives with her mother in England while the other lives with her father in Portugal. After the untimely death of her mother, the one daughter stands... See full summary »
After their parents divorce, one daughter lives with her mother in England while the other lives with her father in Portugal. After the untimely death of her mother, the one daughter stands to inherit a large sum of money and also a number of documents containing information that will incriminate her father, who was a crooked judge. While her father wants the documents, her sister wants the money and they will each stop at nothing, even murder, to get what they want. Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
Not particularly gripping tale of a 'free spirited' Susan George becoming embroiled in a seedy crime racket, led by a 'defrocked' Judge.
Not just *a* Judge, but 'The Judge' - Leo Genn's character who is continually accorded the definite article by sundry friends and enemies
who are largely interchangeable. This melodrama, with a heavy accent
on the corrupt authority figures, bears some resemblance to Pete Walker's later baroque horrors. But the formula isn't developed as of yet - and he had yet to work with the waggish scriptwriter David McGillivray. Walker followed this film with the relatively interesting curio, "The Flesh and Blood Show" - collaborating with the talented veteran Alfred Shaughnessy of "Upstairs, Downstairs" fame - and then his fecund period began with "The House of Whipcord" in 1974.
Susan George and Judy Huxtable are done a great disservice by Walker and scriptwriter Murray Smith here with their reductive portrayal of female characters. Such as shame for George in particular, subject of much brutality in Peckinpah's "Straw Dogs" the following year, but also Huxtable, who was the evocative beauty at the heart of the whimsical "Les Bicylettes de Belsize" two years earlier.
There is always some degree of objectification of women in Walker's films, but what is lacking here is the suspenseful, charged context of his later films. "Frightmare" and "House of Mortal Sin" have something of the Hitchcockian about them: Hitchcock-meets-the Grimm Brothers-meets-British exploitation cinema of the 70s. This is a rather more humdrum affair, with even the exotic locations eliciting no more than a Gallic shrug in this viewer.
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