The film review
by Roger Crow
For a so-called film fan, it was incredible that I've never seen iconic film blow up.
This 1960s classic had been spoofed by movies such as Austin Powers, and riffed on by Brian Depalma in the 1981 psychological thriller Blow Out.
So, browsing through my on demand free film section one Saturday night, I came across this David Hemmings classic and was curious to see if it lived up to the hype.
The first hour of the film is really a comment on the 1960s fashion and lifestyle. It's interesting that this is an Italian's view of swinging 60s London, but by about one hour in the film starts to take on a more traditional thriller role.
While idly looking around the park one day, a photographer happens upon a couple either playing around or up to something more sinister. After being accosted by the female of the duo, Vanessa Redgrave, our hero promises to give her the film before retreating to his studio.
As the film unfolds, Hemmings' character is delightfully accosted by a couple of groupie photography fans for a bit of afternoon delight.
Redgrave, in one of her earliest films, demands the film back before losing her shirt.
The not so happy supper realises that something mysterious is going on in his photos from the park and discovers a dead body. Returning to the park that evening he happens upon the corpse, but is without a camera so cant take any close ups. Later, the corpse vanishes, and he wonder if he ever saw it all.
It's in the final few minutes that you wonder if this is going to be long windup, and the viewer is going to be left feeling disappointed. Thankfully, in one of the most bizarre games of tennis ever committed to celluloid, we realise that nothing is ever quite as it seems in this classic film.
Sexy, surreal and unforgettable, it also boasts one of David Hemmings' finest performances. Whether it had a lasting effect on classics series The Prisoner is open to debate.
However, this is one of those films that once seen is never forgotten.