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||IMDB Rating: 6.8/10 from 560 votes
||Release: 7 October 1971 (Norway) /
||Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
||Director: Michael Tuchner,
||Stars: Ben Howard, Cathleen Nesbitt, Colin Welland, Del Henney, Donald Sinden, Elizabeth Knight, Fiona Lewis, Ian McShane, James Cossins, John Hallam, Joss Ackland, Nigel Davenport, Richard Burton, T.P. McKenna, Tony Selby
||Synopsis: Murderous, sadistic London gang leader Vic Dakin, a mother-obsessed homosexual modeled on real-life gangster Ronnie Kray, is worried about potential stool pigeons that may bring down his criminal empire. The brutal Vic cuts the throat of one bloke who has been a little too loose-lipped, afraid that his gossiping may turn into a grand operatic performance for the coppers. Vic, who enjoys playing at rough trade with his sidekick Wolfe, plans a payroll robbery and directs the blackmailing of Members of Parliament with a taste for unorthodox sex. Scotland Yard Police Inspector Matthews, playing Javert to Vic's Jean Valjean, is moving in on him and the gang. Gang-member Edgar is hospitalized for an ulcer, and Inspector Matthews might be able to make him sing. Will Edgar spill the beans to the coppers before Vic can silence him? Written by Jon C. Hopwood
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I've watched 'Villain' innumerable times since I taped it off a late
night Channel 4 screening in 1999. Why? Because it's truly excellent.
Atmosphere, plot, quirky characterisations, violent action, dialogue,
squalid sex - brother, it's got the lot. A far, far more interesting
film than the same period's 'Get Carter'.
Scripted by venerable British comedy maestros Clement and Le Frenais
from an initial novel adaptation by the simian faced American character
actor Al Lettieri (and I'm sure there's an interesting story behind
that process), 'Villain' is remarkably modern in its tone. We aren't
presented with goodies or baddies, simply players of the never-ending
Vic Dakin (a darkly humorous Richard Burton) is the good old
traditional mother-loving gay psychopath who enjoys slicing up
informers with a cut-throat razor;
Wolfie Lissner (a superb Ian McShane, playing probably the most
interesting character in the piece) is a survivor who'll do what ever
it takes to survive, be it pimping unsuspecting lovelies to the elite,
selling pills to late night ravers or taking the brunt of Dakin's
sadisitic sexual urges;
Bob Matthews (a wry Nigel Davenport) is the disillusioned copper
dedicated purely to bringing Daykin down - "I don't want a fertile
imagination, I don't want to know if society's to blame, I just want to
And Gerald Draycott (an eternally eyebrow-cocking, seedily lecherous
Donald Sinden) is a charmingly corrupt politician with a weakness for
the kind of nubile young girls Wolfie supplies.
The script traces the intertwining fates of these characters after a
bungled wages heist with terse, witty precision. Oddball subsidiary
figures like Joss Ackland's ulcer-ridden crook (who gobbles
pain-relieving hard boiled eggs during a getaway) and James Cossins'
bitter, wife-hating clerk garnish the proceedings like tangily
flavorous seasoning. The backdrop of grubby and grim seventies Britain
is so well sketched that you can almost smell it. Jonathan Hodge's
musical score is both percussively minimalist and hauntingly lyrical -
very powerful. And its a rare triumph for the otherwise hack-like
Michael Tuchner, who directs superlatively here with vigorous
Look out for stalwarts like Tony Selby, Tim Barlow and an uncredited
Johnny Shannon ('Performance's Harry Flowers) as a copper coshing con.
"Got a hard-oh, have ya? DRIVE!!"
Tags for Villain Full Movie
, Cathleen Nesbitt
, Colin Welland
, Del Henney
, Donald Sinden
, Elizabeth Knight
, Fiona Lewis
, Ian McShane
, James Cossins
, John Hallam
, Joss Ackland
, Nigel Davenport
, Richard Burton
, T.P. McKenna
, Tony Selby
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