This splendid film, generally, and best, titled SINGLETON'S PLUCK, is a tale of livestock raiser Ben Singleton (Ian Holm) who will not yield to pressure from the United Kingdom's Transport and General Workers Union, thereon taking it upon himself to walk his 500 plumped geese to London, in the absence of available union-controlled lorry transportation. He expects an arduous journey and is fortunately accompanied by his wife, daughter, and two loyal workers who help by driving his pair of vans fore and aft of the flock while alternating as drovers. A well-crafted screenplay by actor Brian Grover includes full measure of realistic dialogue, strengthening the incident filled goose stepping affair set and filmed in Norfolk, Suffolk, and into London to Smithfield Market where the birds will be processed for Christmas feasting. Adroit direction by Richard Eyre allows for seamless stirring in of several connected subplots, relating to family conflict, meddling media, young love, et alia, each enacted in a fashion not jarring to one's sensibilities. When the quartet arrives with its geese at its geographic goal, with no longer having a purpose of moving the waddlers along a variety of roads, a need for an appropriate climax is supplied to a viewer's satisfaction. There is a didactic purpose of sorts to the film, referent to inefficient aggressiveness of trade unions, but it is not unduly emphasized, and one must especially appreciate diffident and humourous elements touching upon potentially somber issues. Noteworthy contributions are made by many, ensuring artistic success of this fine production, including the playing of Holm, Penelope Wilton as Ben's wife and Richard Hope and Bill Owen as the pair of Singleton assistants, in addition to a salad of creative cinematographic compositions by Clive Tickner, David Martin's first-rate editing, and an ever appropriate score from Dominic Muldowney, paced and controlled perfectly throughout by Eyre. A most unusual and openly sentimental film, enriched by a combined effort to an extent that each scene is of the best quality; plaudits are due to all members of the cast and crew.
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