Director: Mike Hodges
Year Released: 1971
Pretty standard get-revenge-on-baddies-who-offed-your-_______ (father, mother, brother) pic that's designed like an action film but paced like an art film (hence the positive reviews). Michael Caine plays Jack Carter, whose brother's death looks a lot less like suicide and a lot more like foul play, and he's out to find out who did it ... though I must confess that due to a lack of clarity, I still have no idea, or why. It's as if Hodges took a pretty standard storyline and stripped it bare - to avoid making it seem like a detective story - but in the said process of "stripping" it he failed to fill the gaps with material of relevance - you can only take so much symbolism. I never cheered for Caine's character to solve the crime, precisely because I could care less about his character, or the brother, or the seediness Hodges tosses in (mostly in the form of gratuitous nudity). What was written could have been worked through in an hour and change but is given a lengthy treatment - two hours with these idiots is numbing, and the picture is cold and alienating. Britt Ekland's masturbation scene interrupts everything, and is quite funny. Alfie is starting to look better, I must admit.