Friday, April 16, 2010

All Coppers Are… - 1971

An obscure one that isn’t readily available, but I happened to find mine on Ebay from someone who I guess takes British films and puts them onto DVD-Rs compatible with US systems. Probably not legal, but I’m glad he was able to get past Ebay’s strict guidelines about this sort of stuff -- because collectors need this kind of service!

Robin plays a small part as a young thief who gets caught by the main character, a young policeman. He appears only at the beginning and ending: thieving, being chased by the copper, getting thrown in jail…then at the end, bumping into the cop again as he rides around on his bicycle delivering newspapers. I’ve noticed that in a lot of his movies he’s either running for his life or riding a bicycle!

Not disappointed, though. It was really an enjoyable movie aside from having Robin in it. The story’s about the conservative young policeman who is married with a baby. He meets a longhaired guy about his age at a wedding reception – who is played by Nicky Henson. Nicky Henson is also an old favorite of mine from the “Elvira” movies, so I was very happy to see that he and Robin actually made a film together! Next to “Horror Hospital” my favorite Elvira movie was “Psychomania” where he plays a member of a motorcycle gang who find the way to come back from the dead after killing themselves. Apart from an episode of “Fawlty Towers” I have not seen him in anything else, so this was a nice surprise.

Getting back to the story…at the reception they also meet a young girl who Barry (Nicky) falls for but she more has eyes for the married copper, who, in a moment of weakness, winds up having a brief fling with her. When she finds out he’s married, she resorts to moving in with Barry, who is on the “other side of the law”. He’s planning to hijack a truck for some mobsters. Once he’s paid, they hope to flee London together. That is, if they’re not found out by…their old pal the copper!

Good story, good acting. Interesting glimpse of working class London and the people that populate the housing projects in an absolutely dismal looking part of the city. One protest-turned-riot scene was shocking to watch, as the small police force was sent out – with no weapons - to be a barricade against the mob of hundreds of angry young people. I guess it’s really like that over there, police officers not carrying guns, but it seemed almost like suicide to me.

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