The story of the "Canoe Man" John Darwin who faked his own death and tried to start a new life with a false identity.





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Complete credited cast:
Kate Ambler ...
Carlos (as Pepe Balderrama)
Peter Cellier ...
Philip Correia ...
Emelia Dobie ...
Jeremy Legat ...
Philip McGough ...


Five years after he disappeared in a canoe 'accident' John Darwin walks into a police station, claiming to be an amnesiac but his wife Anne knows better and recounts the events of the disappearance. A prison officer whose fanciful money-making schemes leaves him facing bankruptcy - John plans to fake his death and persuades a reluctant Anne to collude with him. Anne feels guilty but plays her part well, leading her two twenty-something sons to believe their father is dead whilst he holes up in a bedsit he owns. After he is declared officially dead he gets a passport in a false name and, with half a million pounds in life insurance pay-out, moves to Panama with Anne, whose sons believe she has gone there alone. When John finds he needs the British police to verify his identity to get a resident's visa he concocts the amnesiac story but in the meantime the couple have been rumbled by a journalist and both are eventually sentenced to six years in prison. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

31 March 2010 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Could have been better...
8 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Considering the story is quite a fascinating one, this could have – OK, should have, been better. For starters, it felt like a re-enactment rather than an actual film or a documentary, which wasn't great. The acting is actually OK, there are no moments of brilliance and it's far from great, but you can tell the cast (for the most part) kind of knew what they were doing. The camera work is pretty bad, awkward shots, unnecessary use of slow motions and, colour filters and... well, quite boring. What keeps you watching, essentially, is the story itself. It's curious to see, to understand, how this couple managed to get away with this for as long as they did. Unfortunately the production just doesn't add anything to it – the script isn't great, the dialogue feels fake at times and the voice over is doesn't feel like it is adding anything or helping us understand more what's going on in the wife's head. This is definitely a story that should be told, but it probably could do with a bit more on the creative and production side of things. Adding a bit of drama and making it more engaging would maybe have gotten a few more viewers interested.

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