A surprisingly good early '80's made-for-TV series
The 1970s and '80's was an era of a rather wooden and anodyne line of TV productions aimed one guesses at inattentive Sunday tea-time family viewing. Even stars of only moderate lustre were further dulled by poor direction, flat-footed scripts and modest supporting cast. Here the only "name", Richard Greene, is surrounded by those many TV actors of the day whose faces were familiar but names not.
However "Scarf Jack" exceeds expectations in all departments. The script has a considerable edge to it (this episode dealt with bitter and nasty suppression of rebellion in Century Ireland). The direction is both tight and fairly ambitious and gets good performances from the cast(scenes involving angry interchanges in close up between actors on horse-back for example who must also do this on the move. Actors playing tough characters actually looked - and acted - the part. One was required to demonstrate a steady hand with a long pistol and does so convincingly. Crowd scenes with serving wenches in an ale-house can often look very stilted - here they look convincing). Although this was a made-for TV series with studio scenes shot on video it would, had it been shot on 35mm, not looked out of place as a cinema release.
Many productions of that era have been (rightly?) cast into TV oblivion but "Scarf Jack" deserves its resurrection. Movies24 appear to bought up this and other Southern TV productions and are giving them an airing on Sky Channel 157
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