|Index||10 reviews in total|
I accidentally saw this in 1981, just flipping channels. It is a powerful story with excellent acting by Malcolm McDowell, and was ahead of its time on issues of disability. It starts with an injury to a young soccer player (McDowell) and then proceeds to show various stages in his mental adjustment to his permanent condition, the relationships he forms, and moves toward a powerful look at meaning and purpose in life beyond the difficulties we face, without minimizing those difficulties. It is much more than an "overcoming injury" story, of which there are many. It is drama at its best. I recommend it especially for those who work with persons with disabilities, but beyond that to anyone who enjoys great drama.
I recently obtained this video from and envisioned that I was going to see
the ubiquitous boy-meets-girl scenario. I was far wrong because what I
ended up viewing was a more interesting and realistic portrayal of two
people caught up in a crossfire
between their feelings towards each other and the deterrents that nearly
prevent them from fulfillling it. I must commend Malcolm McDowell for
portraying the surly but tender male lead in a performance that is truly a
step beyond his trademark stormy and negative characters. Nanette
Newman,too, should be rewarded
for playing the fragile and compassionate heroine.
It's a shame that Long Ago Tomorrow was virtually overlooked upon its release in 1971- hopefully, if more folks other than myself will see this picture, it may get the recognition it is due, significantly, for honestly portraying paraplegics as normal human beings like everyone else.
The key to understand this great movie is the poem by Dylan Thomas: "in
my craft or sullen art" "In my craft or sullen art Exercised in the
still night When only the moon rages And the lovers lie abed With all
their griefs in their arms I labour by singing light Not for ambition
or bread Or the strut and trade of charms On the ivory stages But for
the common wages Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud man apart From the raging moon I write On these spindrift pages Nor for the towering dead With their nightingales and psalms But for the lovers, their arms Round the griefs of the ages, Who pay no praise or wages Nor heed my craft or art." Two works of art:the film and the poem
Ultimately this is just another love story with all the typical plot elements, but the physical disabilities of the protagonists add an interesting twist, and the material is handled well by the cast, the director, and in fact, all concerned. The pacing of the film is deliberately slow, as are some of the pans, which effectively sets up the mood of the film. Blues are used well in the film also, and there is some careful framing to show the characters against different trappings. The music serves to establish the mood as well, and the film is hardly ever maudlin - the sentimental factor is balanced well, except in the final twenty minutes. Lastly, Nannette Newman and Malcolm McDowell both deserve to be praised for their acting here. Each of them has their own share of solid drama to handle, and they both do a good job, but McDowell in particular, who perfectly captures the resentment and depression that his character feels. Overall, it is just another romantic drama, but it is still a film well done.
Around the same time that Malcolm McDowell became famous as Alex in "A
Clockwork Orange", he also starred in "The Raging Moon" (called "Long
Ago Tomorrow" in the United States). He plays Bruce Pritchard, a
football player - that's soccer player to us Americans - whose legs
give out and he has to live in a home for invalids. Here he meets Jill
Matthews (Nanette Newman), and his relationship with her prompts him to
start rebelling against the institutions mores. But there's no sugary
I would say that McDowell's role here bears some similarities to Alex in "ACO", but is obviously a totally different kind of person. Neither character really fits in with society, and they both end up confined. Of course, Alex lives a life of ultra-violence, while Bruce is a perfectly calm and reasonable individual.
Maybe I'm the only person who even thinks this. I thought that they did a very well job with the movie. It paints not so bleak a portrait of it's town as "Kes" does, but this still doesn't look like a very pleasant setting. Certainly the convalescence home is the less desirable of the two settings within the movie. For me, the setting took precedence over Bruce and Jill's relationship. I recommend this film.
PS: was co-star Bernard Lee the same guy who played M in the James Bond movies?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I remember this film very fondly as one of first movies I was allowed
to see with someone not part of my immediate family, that is a with a
friend, companion, girlfriend, whatever you'd like to call them. 'The
Raging Moon' stuck in my mind for a long time, it contains moments of
great beauty interspersed, alas, with long scenes of boring dialogue
and perplexing adult problems that I wasn't the least bit concerned
about. It is ultimately a romance movie and one with a great deal of
realism as well as plenty of heart.
A young footballer (Malcolm McDowell in one of his early roles) has everything to live for. Suddenly at a friend's wedding he is taken ill and told that his condition, which renders him unable to walk, is permanent. He forces his family to have him put into a special home and hopefully have them forget about him. At the home he meets a young woman (Nanette Newman) who is also paralysed, but has been the same way all her life. She helps him adjust to the demands of surviving in a wheelchair and they strike up a friendship that gradually becomes something more serious. It seems obvious to the viewer that these two are just made for each other, but the makers of this film unkindly pull the rug from under the audience, when something particularly tragic happens and the lovers are kept apart. Well, I suppose it could happen in real life, but I mean, how unlucky can these two be? The makers of 'The Raging Moon', director Bryan Forbes especially, allows no compromising of his story and I guess that is what gives the film its emotional power. It's not a complicated story but it's portrayed with far less falsity than most. The characters are living and breathing human beings, and the relationship is portrayed as virtually a necessity for the survival of these two tragically challenged people. They don't dance around each other and play silly games. One comes away from 'The Raging Moon' somehow uplifted by its touching story. For those who haven't seen it, it may sound like depressing stuff but it's a deeply moving experience and one of those films that deserves more exposure on cable, video and/or DVD. I believe that Nannette Newman deserves special mention, She gives an understated but effective performance and more than holds her own when compared to the the flashier style of McDowell who seemed at the time an interesting young actor, but perhaps doomed to play the angry young man into perpetuity.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Known as LONG AGO TOMORROW, THE RAGING MOON is possibly the most
intriguing movie in the career of young Malcolm MacDowell. It came
after his breakthrough film IF, and before the films most people recall
he starred in: A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and O LUCKY MAN. MacDowell is
nowadays established as a well known character actor who specializes in
powerful or power-mad villains for the most part. On an episode of LAW
AND ORDER a few years back he was a twisted version of Rupert Murdoch.
He is frequently rogue CIA agents, or tycoons with secret agendas. And
he is wonderful in all these roles. But except for O LUCKY MAN it is
hard to find MacDowell playing a sympathetic and simple type. His
salesman in O LUCKY MAN is naive and believes what line is ever given
to him by his employers. But in THE RAGING MOON he was a strong,
athletic young man whose future is wrecked by a physical accident that
cripples him. And he has to try to fight his anger at this unfair
situation and regain his self respect.
McDowell plays Bruce Prichard, a soccer/rugby player who is injured in a game - and left wheelchair bound at the age of 21. Given that sport was the key to his life, the props have been knocked out from underneath him in more than one way. He slowly develops into a determined man who is going to overcome his permanent handicap. What really turns him into a determined type is his meeting with another patient (also similarly crippled) named Jill Matthews (Nanette Newman). The two young people find they are encouraging each other's recovery. And sooner or later they begin falling in love.
It is the oddest role in MacDowell's career, and he handles very well. Basically, except for the first ten minutes of the film, he is stuck in bed or in his wheelchair. He is bitter, but fixed on getting on with his new life. Andd finally he is enchanted by his new friend, confidante, and lover Newman. In one of the most touching scenes of the film, the two lovers figure out how to embrace in their wheelchairs by turning them on parallel lines to each other, and lowering the right arms of the wheelchairs so they can surround their arms about each other's waists and chests. The viewer can see the difficulties the young people will face, but they see they will do what they can to overcome their joint disability. So that the audience ends up cheering for them.
MacDowell is not usually so sympathetic. His anti-hero in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is tormented by the state in a new process to make him an acceptable (if defenseless) citizen, and then tormented by one of his old victims. But he was a stylish but still vicious punk in most of that film. He may symbolize youthful suspicions against an antiquated establishment in IF, but he is a violent rebel in the end. And due to his crass stupidity in O LUCKY MAN he actually commits fraud. But in THE RAGING MOON he struck a different note - and it was one he rarely hit again in any films or television shows he made.
The ultimate fate of his hero and heroine, and the cruelty of the world and nature they face, enhance the film. At the conclusion he is stunned by events. So is his audience. And nobody can explain why what happened had to be final for his dreams.
I saw this movie on the recommendation of an older friend. They had
watched it when it came out way back. I just watched it.
I think it is a beautiful love story. A simple kind of love but a real love. Not fraught with obligation or pretense like other relationships of the time. When two souls are drawn to each other undeniably.
I think IMDb should consider adjusting their requirement of ten lines. A lot can be said with few words.
The beginning was a bit hard to watch but once the two main characters meet up, it was lovely to watch.
The main actors both did a good job.
I recommend watching this movie. It's unique.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've finally found the DVD and I'm really glad to see M.McDowell in a
so different role before the legendary performance in Clockwork Orange.
He plays a young typical middle-class English guy that has just begun
to watch the girls as an unknown new universe; he has a family, a
brother next to the marriage, and an ordinary social life. His destiny
twist suddenly when he loose his senses the evening after his own
brother wedding, and waking up the morning after in a bad hospital he
discovers to be paralyzed from the belly down. We don't know, He
doesn't know and worst of everything the doctors don't know the root of
his illness. He takes the hard decision to move on an institute for
paraplegics but even on a wheelchair he won't be able to hide is rage
being apart from the usual guests of the institute. This unusual
character is soon noticed by a beautiful patient,Nanette Newman
excellent as ever,they will have the chance to go over the fear giving
a kiss sitting on a wheelchair knowing the real love.
A big clap to Brian Forbes light and strong where and when necessary.
This was the first film I ever saw with Malcolm McDowell - my brother and sister-in-law took me to see it. It was also the movie that I fell in love with an incredible actor. The role was something I would have never thought someone like him could pull through, yet he did and brilliantly. I applaud the story writer - beautiful way to portray a disabled person - showing that just because you can't walk doesn't mean you aren't capable of love. I highly recommend this movie to those who have never seen this great actor in such an inspiring role.
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