McVicar (1980)

Tom Clegg directs Roger Daltrey, Adam Faith and Cheryl Campbell in this prison breakout thriller following the incarceration, escape and life on the run of bank robber turned writer John McVicar.

Another decent film lost in the midsts of time. It is not a classic but undeserving of obscurity, it seems to lack the cult following of Scum or The Long Good Friday although it hits the same notes just as enjoyably. Daltrey is surprisingly solid in the lead, holding his own next to Steven Berkoff’s OTT hammy tough (the man has one setting) and Cheryl Campbell’s rather more sophisticated support turn (she’s the best thing in it). The Who soundtrack (they score the film in all but name) is a little out of place but does emphasise the desire to be free or “freeeeeeeeeeee-EEE!” even. A lot of contemporary reviews feel the narrative goes off the boil after the prison break but I actually got a lot of value in watching McVicar struggle living a normal family life while on the run with a price on his head. A perfectly decent hardboiled watch.

7

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