Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)

GP   |    |  Action, Drama, Thriller


Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971) Poster

A new school teacher learns that the previous teacher was killed by his pupils, and he fears the same will happen to him.


7/10
481

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  • Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)
  • Carolyn Seymour in Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)
  • Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)
  • Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)
  • Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)
  • Unman, Wittering and Zigo (1971)

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11 September 2006 | robertconnor
8
| Chilly and Disturbing
When a school teacher dies in an accident, his replacement quickly begins to suspect his students of murder.

Using its theatrical origins to claustrophobic effect, Unman, Wittering and Zigo very cleverly builds up layer upon layer of tension and menace, as Hemming's naive and idealistic Mr. Ebony is quickly and easily outclassed by his pupils, seemingly at every turn. Dismissed by his headmaster, and humoured by both his wife and a fellow teacher, Ebony is slowly ground into submission by the boys as they repeatedly claim to have killed his predecessor. However, when the boys attempt an assault on his wife as a way of further controlling Ebony, the web they have spun begins to unravel until eventually another tragedy forces out the truth.

Chilly and chilling, Mackenzie is well-served by his actors, both adult and juvenile. Hemmings captures just the right note of bewilderment and impotence, whilst Seymour turns the potentially thankless role of Mrs. Ebony into a striking portrait of independence, determination and naturalism - her performance during the attempted assault by the boys is quite brilliant. Standout amongst the boys are Hoye, Owen and Cashman, all conveying stonewall confidence collectively, whilst allowing just the faint trace of fear and uncertainty when separated from their classmates. Unsettling allusions to Ebony's ambivalence and a vaguely sexual response to his ordeal add to the mix, and only a slightly dissatisfying and unbelievable conclusion mar what is otherwise a deeply disturbing, grown up story. Highly recommended, if you can track it down.

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