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Biopic of Lord Longford, known for many years for his work with prisoners and prisoners rights in general. The film focuses on Longford's work on behalf of Myra Hindley convicted, along with her boyfriend Ian Brady, of several child murders. Hindley is nothing short of notorious and even Longord's wife is shocked when he announces that he will visit her in prison. When Prime Minister Harold Wilson removes him as the Government Leader in the House of Lords soon after his visits to Hindley are made public, Longford continues to work for her release. A devout convert to Roman Catholicism, Longford sees hope for Hindley when he learns that she too once converted to Catholicism. In the end, his campaign to get her released on parole is for naught when she reveals that other murders took place. Longford stood by his convictions however and never regretted the good work he had done over a great many years. Written by
To look as much as possible like the real Lord Longford, Jim Broadbent wore a prosthetic nose and chin that took two hours to apply each day. A prison guard who had known the real Lord Longford was once very startled when Broadbent entered the prison door in costume. To make himself walk very slowly and lamely when Longford sees Myra Hindley for the last time in the movie (when the character is 92 years old), Broadbent put small, painful stones inside his shoes. See more »
In the end scene we see Hindley with a packet of cigarette's. However, the packet has a health warning on it which was not introduced until 2004 - Myra Hindley died in 2002. See more »
I want to tell ye about Myra, whom ye no doubt believe is sincere in her religious conversion. Let me tell ye, that woman cares no more about God than she does about the piles in my arse. What she cares about is... getting out! And she thinks you'll help her. But the minute your back is turned, she mocks ye!
[pulls three letters from his lap]
For your silly hair... and your clothes... and your "self-important autobiography that's only published 'cause his family owns a bloody publishing house!"
[...] See more »
We should, it is said, forgive but not forget. But some deeds are so monstrous that we can only forgive by forgetting. In some senses, no murderer deserves to ever be let out of jail. But we, as civilised humans, achieve nothing but our own degradation by keeping old people who offer no further threat to society imprisoned; and forgetting may be the only we way can square this circle. But Myra Hindley's crimes were never forgotten, partly because they were peculiarly horrible, but also because she became a hate figure for the popular press. Logically, Hindely has the same rights to be at least considered for parole as any other prisoner; but no politician was ever going to end their careers by demanding it. None, except for Lord Longford, an elderly, egotistical do-gooder with a spectacular capacity for making bad calls. The common belief, supported at least in part by this film, is that manipulative Hindley played Longford for all he was worth. And yet the principles that hard cases make bad law and that justice is not vengeance are surely important and right. But a more pragmatic (or less messianic) figure might have chosen an easier terrain on which to fight this battle.
In this biopic of Longford, Jim Broadbent captures the man's physical characteristics perfectly, although the voice is still his own. Samantha Morton, always a brave actress, keeps her cards close to her chest as Hindley. Though generally following received wisdom, it's overall effect is cautiously sympathetic to Longford, and encourages one to think again about the meaning of justice, maybe more effectively than Longford himself did.
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