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The Offence (1972)

 -  Crime | Thriller | Drama  -  1973 (Turkey)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 3,278 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 31 critic

A burned-out British police detective finally snaps while interrogating a suspected child molester.

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Title: The Offence (1972)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Detective Sergeant Johnson
...
Lieutenant Cartwright, Detective Superintendant
Vivien Merchant ...
Maureen Johnson
...
Kenneth Baxter
...
Detective Inspector Cameron
Derek Newark ...
Frank Jessard
Ronald Radd ...
Lawson
John Hallam ...
Panton
Richard Moore ...
Anthony Sagar ...
Hill
Maxine Gordon ...
Janie Edmonds, the Raped Girl
Hilda Fenemore ...
Woman on Common
Rhoda Lewis ...
Woman at School
Cynthia Lund ...
Child at School
Howard Goorney ...
Lambert
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Storyline

In Sidney Lumet's harrowing portrayal of police brutality, Detective Sergeant Johnson has been with the British Police Force for 20 years. In that time, the countless murders, rapes and other serious crimes he has had to investigate has left a terrible mark on him. His anger and aggression that had been suppressed for years finally surfaces when interviewing a suspect, Baxter, whom Johnson is convinced is the man that has been carrying out a series of brutal attacks on young girls. Throughout the interview Johnson brutally beats Baxter and during this ordeal he inadvertently reveals that the state of his own mind is probably no better than that of the offenders who committed the crimes that disgusted Johnson originally. Written by David Claydon <dc6212@bristol.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

After 20 years what Detective-Sergeant Johnson has seen and done is destroying him.

Genres:

Crime | Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1973 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

A Sevícia  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Sean Connery agreed to return as James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971), as part of his deal, United Artists had to back two films of Connery's choice that would cost $2m or less. This was to be the first, and a Connery-directed version of MacBeth was to be the second. When The Offence failed at the box-office and Polanski beat Connery to the screen with his version, MacBeth was canceled. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Detective Sergeant Johnson: God! Oh God!
See more »

Connections

Features The Hill (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Groupie
(uncredited)
Music by Barry Stoller
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Depressing, disturbing
23 November 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An English police officer, Sgt. Johnson (Sean Connery) is cracking under pressure on his job. He beats a rape suspect (Ian Bannen) to death. But why? Was it the pressures of the job...or something else?

Combination murder mystery and character study. This film was a major bomb in 1973 and quickly disappeared from view. It's still virtually unknown--I had no idea it even existed till it popped up on cable! That's really a shame. It IS a very dark, depressing film but it's always absorbing and easily contains one of Connery's best performances. He's letter perfect as a tired, disgusted police officer who doesn't know how to deal with his job and the stress. There's an especially harrowing sequence between him and his wife (Vivien Merchant) when he tries to explain to her what's happening to him--and she can't deal with it. Incidentally, Merchant's acting is superb also but it makes the scene very uncomfortable to watch. Also, Merchant was suffering from alcoholism at the time and she (understandably) looks horrible--but it fits the role. Also Trevor Howard turns in a good performance as a lieutenant who has to question Johnson. Don't let his top billing fool you--he doesn't show up until over an hour in and is only around for about 20 minutes.

The picture isn't perfect--SPOILERS AHEAD!!!! For one thing, the opening credits are in slow motion with a VERY annoying sound playing all through it. Also it gives away the ending. And director Sideney Lumet is (almost constantly) flashing a bright light in our faces--it's annoying and not needed. The identity of the rapist is never made clear(it's suggested--that's all) and Bannen (as the suspect) gives a VERY strange performance. I didn't know what to make of his character.

Still, it is a great, if disturbing, motion picture...faults aside. Worth catching...but brace yourself. It's pretty strong stuff.


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