This for me has to be 1 of my favourite films for several reasons.Firstly it has quite a cast with Michael Caine, Brian Blessed, Omar Sharif etc etc,secondly it has 1 of John Barry's(James Bond, The Black Hole)finest scores!I have found out that he had an exceptional amount of time in which to compose the score after the final edit & produced a *MUST HAVE* score if your into your movie soundtracks(I have hundreds as I am a bit of a collector!).The movie was also shot in a remote isolated valley & all the buildings you see in the film were constructed by local craftsmen drafted in from the surrounding towns using traditional techniques as per the time period it portrays.This creates a totally convincing back drop to the filming & some of the shots of the valley are breath taking! My fondness of the film stems from early memories of it as a child.My Dad used his video(when video had only just come in!)for the 1st time to record this off TV late at night & in fact he still has that tape floating around somewhere!ha ha He was quite strict so I wasn't allowed to use the video for a start & definitely not allowed to watch this....but I used to sneak it on when me folks were out(shhhhush-don't tell him ha ha!). It is actually a very rarely aired movie & has not really been recognised for the depth & strength it portrays. I think it was way ahead of its time in terms of brutality.It was also marketed too high as a sort of Ben Hur, Spartacus epic.Those films had way more budget & far more scope in terms of the size of story line they were depicting - after all The Last Valley is just dealing with a small village community in a remote isolated valley where as Ben Hur is dealing with a whole Roman Empire theme!Never the less The Last Valley still has impact.The opening scene is still shocking 40years on!I think those scenes are the reason it does not get the air play as the violence & issues it deals with are so honest & truthful!This film pulls no punches!It will show you exactly how difficult 'Life' was in those times - its not got many soft edges.The rivalry between the various factions, their attempts to control & manipulate are bang on!The way the church in those days had the last word on everything!The way the land owners made sure that everyone was indebted to them to maintain control.The fact that if you sinned & were caught out - well the consequences were severe as in the ultimate price!Don't watch this film if you just want to see fantasy eye candy, but if you appreciate the truth & want a film that shows an honest appraisal of Life & times in the 16th Century Europe then it will not fail to deliver.It is full of irony, sub plots & intrigue.I am of course biased & as I have got older & my own wisdom has increased I see different things in it that I had not perceived before!It is a mature intellectual persons film.I must of seen it at least 30 times & it still delivers for me.
Take the time out to see it & see what you think. Cheers Jon ;0)