Baal is a young amoral rebellious poetic genius who, after a short and eventful life of debauchery, betrayal and violence, is about to cut his ties to the world and meet his doom. A high society party is where the end begins.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Robert Austin ...
Jonathan Kent ...
Russell Wootton ...
...
Johannes
Juliet Hammond ...
Emilie (as Juliet Hammond-Hill)
Wally Thomas ...
1st cab driver
Roy Evans ...
2nd cab driver
Michael Miller ...
Horgauer
Michael Miller ...
Horgauer
Sylvia Brayshay ...
Louise
...
Johanna
...
Porter's wife
...
Sophie
Polly James ...
Soubrette
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Storyline

Baal is a young amoral rebellious poetic genius who, after a short and eventful life of debauchery, betrayal and violence, is about to cut his ties to the world and meet his doom. A high society party is where the end begins.

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Drama | Musical

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2 March 1982 (UK)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Worth watching as a curio, but that's about it
6 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

David Bowie has always been underrated as a dramatic actor, and Alan Clarke was usually a fine director. But this TV version of Brecht's early play is stiff and uninvolving--partly because it's far from Brecht's best and ill-suited to film, but primarily because Clarke's direction is so misguided. Apart from some split screen effects for the transitional song interludes, he shoots almost everything in long-shot, keeping the performers literally at a theatrical distance, the camera stock still. (The film also seems dankly underlit, although to be fair that might be the fault of the transfer I watched.) Bowie throws himself into this irredeemable-scoundrel part with verve and is more than willing to let the makeup etc. crew make him as ugly/unhealthy looking as possible. The other cast members are perfectly adequate. But this "Baal" feels like an academic performance record for the archives rather than a fully realized adaptation of a stage work. Maybe Clarke just didn't relate to the material.


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