Directed by: Alastair Reid
Actors: Peter Finch, Shelley Winters, Colin Blakely, John Stride, Linda Hayden, Harold Goldblatt and Rosemarie Dunham
Also known as: Shattered, A tu per tu con una ragazza scomoda, La muchacha que llegó de la lluvia
A man having marital problems with his shrewish spouse picks up pretty, pregnant and young hitchhiker. Before he understands information technology, he’s in over his head and mixed up in violence and murder.
very now and then the DVD sector brings into view a film; a very great film that appears to have been unfortunately ignored. This might be certainly the case with this Uk gem from 1972 – a film we don’t remember seeing on the cinema or on TV since it was issued. Based on a novel by Nicholas Monsarrat, it deals with some pretty distressing motifs – but that doesn’t account for why it has been so ignored – particularly given some of the garbage that does find its means to our late night TV displays.
One of the functions of the film is that it has a superb cast. The male lead is played by Peter Finch as well as the movie additionally stars Colin Blakely, John Stride, Shelley Winters, Rosemary Dunham and, simply briefly, Jack Shepherd (of Wycliffe fame) and Graham Crowden (Waiting for God). All perform their parts very well nevertheless the movie is made for me by a rather beautiful overall performance from Linda Hayden as the expecting waif Lorelei. Provided that at the time it was made, Ms Hayden can’t have been more than 18 it is a remarkable overall performance by one of Britain’s most under-rated and underused actresses. Perhaps one element here is that the movie is directed by Alastair Reid who just two or three years earlier had coaxed a wonderful overall performance out of Ms Hayden in Baby Love.
The film Shattered opens with Harry Field – a small town hallway bureaucrat – coming home for Christmas to his drunken spouse (Shelley Winters). He is drunk – but not as drunk as she – as Ms Winters provides a remarkable performance of a drunk locked inside an unhappy marriage. To this end, she is by turn nostalgic, sarcastic, calm, angry and affectionate – the entire resulting in the few – having simply eaten their Xmas dinner and exchanged presents – having a flaming row.
By another scene, Mrs Field has fled right back to America, Harry is on the container and in difficulty with his boss at the Town Hall (Blakely). Pleading sickness he goes to the mainland – the entire movie is set on the Isle of Wight – to go to the airport in the belief that his wife is returning. She isn’t on the flight and on the way right back he is within a minor shunt with a lorry. Having stopped – to trade details and rude terms with the motorist – he finds he now has a passenger. Lorelei had been on the lorry and – blaming the motorist for the crash – refuses to travel any additional with him.
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