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In Sidney Lumet's harrowing portrayal of police brutality, Detective Sergeant Johnson has been with the British Police Force for 20 years. In that time, the countless murders, rapes and other serious crimes he has had to investigate has left a terrible mark on him. His anger and aggression that had been suppressed for years finally surfaces when interviewing a suspect, Baxter, whom Johnson is convinced is the man that has been carrying out a series of brutal attacks on young girls. Throughout the interview Johnson brutally beats Baxter and during this ordeal he inadvertently reveals that the state of his own mind is probably no better than that of the offenders who committed the crimes that disgusted Johnson originally.Written by
David Claydon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Grim but rewarding character study with a great Connery performance.
Arguably the best of Sidney Lumet's British films, this one benefits from a brilliant script by John Hopkins and a tour-de-force performance by Sean Connery as a cop who's been pushed too far. The interrogation scenes between him and an excellent Ian Bannen, as the prime suspect in a child molestation case, are riveting. Hopkins' dialogue is uncannily subtle in its gradual illumination of the psychological states of its two antagonists. Vivien Merchant is exceptional as Connery's emotionally-drained spouse. Gerry Fisher's cold, muted photography perfectly captures the sterility and bleakness of post-modern England. This is not a fun film, but its truths about the fragility of the human psyche are eloquently conveyed.
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