In 1974, Eddie Dunford, comes home from South England and gets a job as a cub reporter for the Yorkshire Post. A schoolgirl has gone missing, and Eddie suspects it's one of several crimes dating back six years; the police think not and blame gypsies. Eddie digs; the police stonewall him then two of them beat him after he visits the widowed mother of one of the girls missing for a few years. When a child's body turns up at a construction site of local building magnate John Dawson, Eddie has another thread to pull. By now, he's begun an affair with Paula, the widowed mom, and he suspects collusion among Dawson, the police, and his newspaper - but what are they covering up? Written by
The title of the trilogy, "Red Riding", derives from two main sources - Yorkshire, the location of the crimes, and Red Riding Hood, the traditional tale. Yorkshire, a county of England, is divided into three sections or ridings. The action takes place in the West Riding. One of the girls who goes missing is wearing a red anorak or hooded jacket, and one of the attackers bears the nickname, Wolf. See more »
Little girl goes missing, the pack salivates. If it bleeds it leads, right? Eddie Dunford, crime correspondent, back home to take the north. Business first. Dad won't mind waiting.
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I didn't pick this film up expecting a laugh-riot but having heard a lot about the bungled Yorkshire Ripper investigation, I fully expected an intelligent and insightful work from "1974". Yet coming away from this movie I feel even more confused than I did before I began. There was too little background about the case, the era and the characters given, as if the directors assumed that their audience had read the book and/or were living in Yorkshire during the 70s. Sadly, neither is true in my case and if the makers wouldn't have assumed as much they could have added a lot of meat to this story while keeping a broad range of viewers interested. The star-crossed lovers subplot (or was it the main plot??) was irritatingly predictable, so much so that I was shouting at the screen for the last half of the movie, to the chagrin of my neighbours. And most of the characters came across as shallow and seemed to drift through the film in a timeless, listless haze of futility.
Having said that one of the big pros was watching Sean Bean, who was very easy on the eyes and acting his heart out. "1974" is also very sleek, although the beautifully-shot landscape is so depressing that you sometimes wonder why they made the effort.
In conclusion, I will watch next movie in the hopes that it will shed more light on the Yorkshire Ripper case but I have to admit this was not a great start.
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