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Monique van der Werff,
Marie Louise Stheins
Half-way through his 12-year prison sentence for an incompetent armed robbery, Jimmy Hands gets a lucky break: he's transferred to a prison from which he can probably escape. He convinces the governor to stage a musical in an old chapel next to the prison's outer wall. He rounds up volunteer actors and puts his escape plan into production. Two other barriers, besides the wall, confront him: the arrival of a nasty inmate, John Toombes, who insists on joining the escape, and Jimmy's feelings of attraction for Anabel, a social worker who agrees to appear in the play. Opening night approaches: is this Jimmy's breakout performance? Written by
It was probably made to capitalize on the well-deserved success of the "Full Monty" :both films have a lot in common ;proles / prisoners setting a show up.
The major drawback is Christopher Plummer's part :it's really underwritten and the scenarists obviously favored James Nesbitt's role.Too bad for the "show " sequences are the best in the whole film but we do not laugh enough.Lord Nelson's and "that" Lady Hamilton's song is deliciously stupid and provides a great moment of fun.The inmates ironically singing "we're going home" is a hilarious scene too.
But it seems that the director could not make up his mind :he hesitates between comedy and drama:the sadistic warden is a cliché ,as old as the hills in what is finally a prison movie.
Watchable but the screenplay was not fully exploited.
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