The Offence

1973 [english]

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

The Offence

1973 [english]

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

71%
72%
7

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71% - Critics
72% - Audience
7

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Synopsis

In Sidney Lumet's harrowing portrayal of police brutality, Detective Sergeant Johnson's been on the police force for 12 years. In that time, the number murders, rapes, and other felony crimes he's investigated has left a terrible mark on his psyche. His bottled-up anger and rage finally explode whilst interviewing Baxter - a suspect in a series of brutal attacks on young girls. Throughout the interview, Johnson brutally beats Baxter and reveals the state of his own mind is probably no better than some of the offenders who've comitted the crimes that disgust him. —David Claydon.

Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Aug 16, 2021 at 12:21 AM

Director

Cast

  • Trevor Howard as Lieutenant Cartwright, Detective Superintendant

grade Movie Reviews

  • Reviewed by zofos grade 8 / 10

    Big Tam Lets Rip

    After returning to save the James Bond franchise with "Diamonds Are Forever," Sean Connery made a complete left-field choice for his next role. In "The Offence," he plays a stressed-out police officer on the verge of a nervous breakdown who is in a physical and psychological battle with a paedophile suspect he has in custody. Connery's character is also struggling with his own paedophile tendencies. It is an adaptation of John Hopkins play "This Story of Yours." It is essentially a two-hander for the most part with Connery and Ian Bannen (as the paedophile) trying to get the better of one another in the interrogation room of a police station.Even though Sean Connery won his only Oscar for "The Untouchables", for me, this is by far his best performance. He is an absolute powerhouse in this going from shouting, snarling rage to raving and ranting about paedophiles to then sobbing like a child and begging forgiveness.Ian Bannen is, if anything, even better than Connery here. His character veers from confused innocence to leering guilt, from screaming frustration to self-pity and then back to arrogance. It's an amazing performance. Sadly, Ian Bannen was killed in a car crash a few years back. A huge loss to the acting community.While "The Offence" on the surface seems like a very British police procedural drama, it was, surprisingly, directed by the American Sidney Lumet. Like Lumet's best movies ("Twelve Angry Men," "The Hill", "Serpico" and "Dog Day Afternoon") this film features a character in an extremely pressurized situation. It's brave film-making at its darkest. Hollywood certainly took notice as Lumet was chosen to direct a young Al Pacino in two of his breakthrough movies "Serpico" in 1973 and "Dog Day Afternoon" in 1975 after this.This is the kind of film that would not only never be made today, to even suggest it as an idea for a film would probably be the end of your career. So, if you're tired of CGI monsters and explosions and you want to experience raw acting at its finest, get a copy of this film. It is uncomfortable viewing due to its disturbing subject matter, but you won't see better acting anywhere. Highly recommended.


  • Reviewed by jmorrison-2 grade 9 / 10

    Superb Film

    Remarkable, dark, disturbing film. Sean Connery was a perfect, suave James Bond, and many of his later films were just audience-pleasing parodies, but this man can act. His portrayal of a seemingly hard-boiled detective merge perfectly later with the sociopathic figure he really has become. This is a searing film, which creeps up on you, and stuns you with sudden realizations. Connery's character (Sergeant Johnson) would have probably lived out his career, and his life, literally drowning in his sickness and misery, but for his meeting with Baxter, a suspected child molester and murderer. As the interview progresses, Baxter can clearly see the illness and pathology in Sergeant Johnson, and each push the other's buttons, closer and closer to the edge, and beyond. The revelations revealed take you back and forth, until you don't quite know who the real deviant is.Sean Connery and Ian Bannen were simply breathtakingly good. Great atmosphere and pacing in this dark, chilling movie. The slow, brooding, quiet pace to the film lends an air of disquiet, and an impending tragedy.


  • Reviewed by malcolmgsw grade 4 / 10

    overrated

    I saw this film on its premiere engagement at the Odeon Leicester Square.My notes indicate that I found the film overlong and repetative.I have just watched it for the first time since then and have to say that I still hold to those opinions.The climactic scene between Connery and Howard just seems to be a shouting match.A rather unpleasant film.


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