The Offence – 1973 | 112mins | Thriller, Crime | Colour
A fascinating look at the human psyche based on Z Cars scriptwriter John Hopkins acclaimed stage play This Story of Yours, The Offence is an expertly crafted study of evil and human weakness that demands to be watched in its entirety. Director Sidney Lumet’s stagy psychological drama bombed on release and has since been criminally overlooked, but it still packs quite a punch and features compelling performances from both Sean Connery and Ian Bannen. Bannen earning a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA nomination for his role.
World-weary copper Detective Sergeant Johnson (Sean Connery) has been in the police force for 20 years and is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In that time, the relentless murders, rapes and other serious crimes he has had to investigate have left a terrible mark on him. His anger and aggression that had been suppressed for years finally surfaces when interviewing a suspected child-molester, Kenneth Baxter (Ian Bannen), whom Johnson is convinced has been carrying out a series of brutal attacks on young schoolgirls. The claustrophobic duel in the interrogation room ends with a fatal burst of violence and internal investigator Lieutenant Cartwright (Trevor Howard) has to search for an explanation.
Sidney Lumet: Director
Gerry Fisher: Cinematography
Evangeline Harrison: Costume Design
John Victor-Smith: Film Editing
Harrison Birtwistle: Original Music
Denis O’Dell: Producer
John Hopkins: Script
Gerry Humphreys: Sound Department