6.8/10
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16 user 5 critic

McVicar (1980)

R | | Crime, Drama | August 1980 (UK)
'John McVicar' was a London Bad Boy. He graduated to armed bank robbery and was Britain's "Public Enemy No. 1". He was captured and put into a high security prison. Will even the highest ... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Clegg

Writers:

John McVicar (screenplay), Tom Clegg (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Daltrey ... John McVicar
Adam Faith ... Walter Probyn
Cheryl Campbell ... Sheila McVicar
Billy Murray ... Joey Davis
Georgina Hale ... Kate
Steven Berkoff ... Ronnie Harrison
Brian Hall ... Terry Stokes
Peter Jonfield Peter Jonfield ... Bobby Harris
Matthew Scurfield ... Streaky Jeffries
Leonard Gregory Leonard Gregory ... Jimmy Collins
Joe Turner Joe Turner ... Panda
Jeremy Blake Jeremy Blake ... Ronnie Johnson
Anthony Trent Anthony Trent ... Tate
Terence Stuart Terence Stuart ... Sid
Harry Fielder ... Harry Aitch
Edit

Storyline

'John McVicar' was a London Bad Boy. He graduated to armed bank robbery and was Britain's "Public Enemy No. 1". He was captured and put into a high security prison. Will even the highest security prison be able to hold him? This is the true story of his life, his criminal exploits and his eventual rehabilitation. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sentenced to 23 years-and he won't accept one day of it

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1980 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

МакВикар See more »

Filming Locations:

Ireland See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Polytel, The Who Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film as a full producer for Roger Daltrey who went on later to also produce Buddy's Song (1991). Daltrey's first credit as a producer, an executive producer, was for Quadrophenia (1979). See more »

Goofs

When McVicar escapes, he is running up the street and you can see the shadow of the camera crew running behind him. See more »

Quotes

Prison Officer Rabies Pendel: I suppose you think you got the better of us there. But just remember, kidder, you're in for ten years.
Terry Stokes: Yeah, that's right, Mr. Pendel. But you're in for life, ain't yer?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Quote by John McVicar in the closing credits: "Being a thief is a terrific life. But the trouble is they put you in jail for it." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Killer: Episode #1.2 (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Without Your Love
Written by Billy Nicholls
Performed by Roger Daltrey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee me!
23 September 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Can't you hear that's what I say.

John McVicar is a tough uncompromising armed robber, after being sent to a maximum security prison for 23 years he dreams of escaping every day. As his reputation grows and friendships are formed, it would appear that his friend Wally Probyn may have figured a way out of this tough rigid prison.

In 1979 America had The Warriors and The Wanderers, at pretty much the same time us British had Quadrophenia and McVicar to hold dear to our hearts, both films produced out of The Who Films Ltd, both films eminently quotable to a certain age group that were of the teenage persuasion. I love McVicar, I really do, based on the true life story of McVicar, well from his own accounts written in his book, "McVicar by Himself", the film boasts a Who soundtrack and a script that positively sparkles with wit and anger speak. Yes the charges of the film making hardened criminals seem likable characters is a fair one, but not only does the film show the disgust {and rightly outright hatred} for sex offenders, it also showcases just what a hard job the prison officers have, this is something that many of the user comment writers here have failed to acknowledge.

Roger Daltrey takes on the role of McVicar and dons a career best, gruff, perfectly in shape and a wide boy arrogance that comes off as gold dust in this particular piece. Backing him up is wonderful turns from Brian Hall {comic gold}, Steven Berkoff {clearly enjoying himself}, Matthew Scurfield {frighteningly unnerving} and Peter Jonfield. Once the escape happens the film switches in tone as McVicar tries to make some sense of his life, it's an emotional switch that tones the film down but never the less takes us successfully to the highly accomplished finale. We are then left with a wonderful quote from John McVicar himself and we are told just what this tough as nails armed robber actually did with himself from that point on.

Perhaps it's because I was a teenager when the film came out, that I love it so much? Or maybe the script just appeals to me on a very primal level? Either way I'm always going to be a fan of it, and McVicar remains to me, along with Quadrophenia and Scum, British standards to revisit every single year.

I don't care how late it is I'm not going home 8/10


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