9 January 2013 | Bezenby
Burton vs Connolly!
Angry looking, twitchy Richard Burton stars as a priest at an all boys school. He's all for slapping down the disabled, annoying pupil while praising the sycophantic, sneaky pupil (I've forgotten their names already). Meanwhile, Billy Connolly of all people turns up as a drifter and after being told to bolt by Burton, sets up camp on the school grounds and begins to turn the sneaky pupil's head onto drink and drugs and living free.
Vexed by Connolly's free spirit and nimble banjo plucking, Burton sets out to get rid of the Glaswegian hippy and get his pupil to return where every adolescent boy belongs: in a school run by Catholic priests. Brian Glover appears as a policeman that gives out a good old seventies police kicking for good measure. However, the tables turn as the young pupil confesses that he's murdered somebody, but is he telling the truth or is it just all mind games to drive old rummy Burton out of his mind?
This film is deadly, deadly slow, but quite on purpose. It's yet another one of these seventies movies where the plot zigs and zags and somehow retains a dark atmosphere that modern films somehow can't quite emulate. There's very little by way of action, but one burst of violence took me by surprise in it's brutality (a nasty axe to the face scene). Burton looks genuinely annoyed at everything, and as this was Billy Connolly back when he was funny, he's enjoyable too. This is not a film for insomniacs but good for those with a bit of patience.