7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
First be aware this is vintage footage and image improved to the capability of TV footage from decades ago, but not perfect. Accepting that; read on and find a thriller of a series. Expect "OUT" to look like late 1970's era because it was made then. Not intended to be a retro era entertainment, it now becomes so with set and costume perfection. Shot in 1978, it shows typical bell bottom trousers and more. Fun visually for the nostalgia fans.
The story is not a fun travelogue romp through the streets of south London. Life shown is on the nasty side of the law making it hard to find a character very likable. It's hard to empathize with people out to rob, injure, and kill. They all seem to live by the code of violence. An intense psychological thriller as well as a mystery from the underworld. Some B/W footage is used during flashbacks. Some short bits of nudity appear. You'll also find some compelling hours to view while getting to the fast-paced volatile finale.
Frank Ross (Tom Bell- Prime Suspect: The Complete Collection ) is released after 8 years having spent them all contemplating who set him up, along with his "firm" of bank robbing pals, Billy, Ralph, Vic, & Bernie. He vows to get to the culprit if it is the last thing he does, and it may just be that. Frank's acquaintances are not spiffy `gentlemen' but street wise and crime controlling thugs. There are many side plots, like an insane wife, a troubled son, a friend in debt, and secrets that could cost lives.
CAST: notables are DI Bryce (Norman Rodway- Bretts: The Complete Collection) again wanting to put Ross inside; Anne (Lynn Farleigh- Wish Me Luck: Series One) a lover since Frank's wife is institutionalized; & McGrath (Brian Cox- Braveheart & Troy) a man ruling over much of the city crime.
SUBTITLES for all 6 50 minute episodes. A continuing story, one to the next.
1 IT MUST BE THE SUIT- commentary available; Frank Ross is released from prison but freedom's celebration is less than perfect. Old rivals and lovers surface as Ross begins his search for the grass that sent him to jail. And he's still playing tough if necessary.
2 NOT JUST PENNIES- A bad reunion with wife Eve who makes her own form of escape. The cops are pushing to catch Ross at anything illegal. Gambling should count.
3 MAYBE HE'LL BRING BACK A GEISHA- Ross visits the hideout of his former gang member & faces issues with his son.
4 A LITTLE HEART TO HEART WITH MISS BANGOR- Crime boss orders men after Ross who has his own disturbing encounters with a call girl and Eve. Dirty secrets are an issue.
5 THE MOMENT HE OPENED HIS ENVELOPE- The heat following Ross intensifies even as he wants to reconcile some family ties. He also gets nearer to the truth about his past arrest for the bank attempt. The conclusion to Ross's revenge becomes explosive.
6 I WOULDN'T TAKE YOUR HAND IF I WAS DROWNING- commentary available; Cops (called filth on the street) move in on Ross as he moves in on his grass. Secrets are discovered and violence reigns. In the end, which side of law-lawlessness will win?
Not pleasant touristy London DVD, but compelling cop & criminal corruption. It is a part of decades of crime writing from Trevor Preston (Callan, The Sweeney, Ruth Randell Mysteries), quite interesting since he began with "The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
OUT is the name of a just-released DVD six-part series from 1978 starring one of the most intense actors of his generation: Tom Bell.
While his stage career began in 1948, Bell didn’t enter films and television until the late fifties, where he was part of generation of working-class, “angry young men” hell-raiser types like Peter O’Toole and Albert Finny, two of his better-known (and more successful) contemporaries. Bell’s celluloid/tape career began promisingly enough but his drinking led to an infamous incident in which Bell heckled Prince Philip, who was giving a speech at an awards function. While the Prince deflected Bell’s comment with good-humoured aplomb, those sitting at Bell’s table (which included the likes of Sir Richard Attenborough) were mortified at Bell’s faux pas. It is said this incident impeded Bell’s progress into the stratosphere of film and television stardom.
Still, he did quite well, and was considered to have never given a bad performance.
There is a lean, mean, fightin’ machine demeanor about Bell which works greatly in his favour as a screen presence. He once said “If you act you need to have threat. Without threat, nobody notices you.” This intensity is precisely the reason Bell is so outstanding in OUT, another little-known gem given new life by Acorn Media from the archives of classic British television.
Frank Ross, Bell’s character, has just been released from an eight-year stint in prison. He is now “out” of jail and wants to know who “grassed” on him–which is English parlance for “squealed”. Bell is a man with a not-so-advisable mission, though curiously, it involves honour and an underlying moral thread to “do the right thing”.
This element, captured in the eloquent script by Trevor Preston and executed particularly well by the driven yet not manic Bell, is what keeps the viewer intrigued and on the side of the protagonist. This is no easy feat when the central figure is an unrepentant criminal.
While being pursued by a compulsive policeman, Detective Inspector Bryce, played very well by Norman Rodway, it becomes clear that Bell is on a collision course with disaster. Will he be destroyed by his own desire for vengeance? Will he be curiously redeemed? Will he make amends with his wife, who has been committed to a mental institution? Will his influence on his teenage son be nurturing or destructive?
OUT is an excellent crime thriller and you really find yourself drawn into Bell’s dilemma. How can he move on with his life until he determines once and for all who was responsible for his going to jail? How will he respond if/when he does find out? Will his subsequent actions land him back in prison?
These questions will all be answered to your satisfaction when you invest the time to watch OUT.
If you remember Tom Bell’s riveting performance as Otley in “Prime Suspect”, in which he went from playing a sexist cop to a repentant, recovering alcoholic, you’ll be astounded to see him here: younger, fit, full of life–the very opposite of the wiry, drawn-looking Otley. Tom Bell could do it all.
On a technical note, because this series was made in 1978, when videotape was still being used for interior scenes in some British-made productions, I wasn’t sure what to expect here. Fortunately, the entire series is shot on film, which adds immeasurably to the grittiness and style of the piece.