4 October 2009 | lazarillo
Recommended, but good luck finding a decent copy
This is a kind of interesting movie about British police corruption. It involves a well-intentioned but corrupt police detective who is squaring off against another, truly corrupt police detective, who is in league with the criminals and not above murder. The only honest cop meanwhile is a naive rookie patrolman named "Peter Strange" (well-played by Michael York, the same year he was "Tybalt" in Zefferelli's "Romeo and Juliet"). "Strange", however, is unable to resist a young, nubile Susan George (and, really, what mortal man could?). The then 18-year-old George plays 15-year-old "Fred", who really puts the "bait" in "jailbait". Her liberal-minded aunt and uncle actually let the pair rendezvous in her house, but that's because they are filming the whole thing for their own sinister purposes. Confronted by blackmail, the honest cop "Strange" eventually becomes a lot less honest and quickly gets mired in the corruption and intrigue.
The British director David Greene made a series of interesting movies in Britain in the late 60's including this, "I Start Counting" (with Jenny Agutter), and perhaps his most famous one, "The Shuttered Room" (with American Carole Lynley). Like another talented Brit director John Moxley, Greene eventually ended up making comparatively lame American TV movies like "Vacation in Hell" in the 70's, but he showed a lot of promise in his early work. Michael York did go on to somewhat of a career, most famously starring in the 70's version of "The Island of Dr. Moreau" with Burt Lancaster, but he definitely deserved more of one. I don't want to talk too much about Susan George because I'll start drooling all over my keyboard again, but she perhaps achieved the most fame of anyone involved with this movie, appearing most notably in the controversial films "Straw Dogs" and "Mandingo". She was not a great actress perhaps, but then nobody ever really seemed to mind. . .
This is another British film that badly needs a legitimate DVD release. (I saw it on a bootleg that had obviously been ported off a PAL VHS tape onto an NTHS DVD so it was moving at 25 fps in a 24 fps format, making for some awkward viewing). You'd think they'd release this legitimately in Britain at least. I would recommend this, but good luck finding a decent copy.