An Ungentlemanly Act (British Telefilm)
Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Telefilm: B-
One of the most amusingly odd wars that smacked of all
kinds of stupidity was Argentina’s decision to take back The Falkland Islands
from The British. The resulting war in
1982 was quick brief, and Argentina did not stand a chance. For Margaret Thatcher, it was a chance for
The Iron Lady to show her Winston Churchill side and that her Neo-Conservatism
could equal Ronald Reagan’s early on, action for action. Writer/director Stuart Urban decides to take
an absurd Three Kings-like look at what happened in An Ungentlemanly
Act, a 1992 telefilm look at the events leading up to the final battle.
The bulk of the story is about how the U.K. may have not
expected and underestimated what Argentina was up to. They have Rex Hunt (Ian Richardson) lead the British line, but
things do not go as planned. Though
Britain had the last word, the story of how far Argentine forces got (or were
allowed to get) before things were settled.
The film does not suggest Thatcher’s people allowed this to happen so
she could grandstand despite that it seems so and the text extras support this,
but the nearly two-hour telefilm is surprisingly bold, politically incorrect
just the same and shows the “grand illusion” in which so many political and
military actions still take place under.
The 1.33 X 1 image is good for its age, with the usual
detail limits, but this is ambitiously shot by cinematographer Peter Chapman
and a pleasure to watch. The Dolby
Digital 2.0 Stereo has some Pro Logic surrounds, but the sound is a little more
strident than usual. Besides a
surprisingly good selection of hit records, but the instrumental score by
Russell King is also good. Extras
include three text sections: Falkland Island Facts, a “selected timeline” about
the war that has great detail and a weblink and three cast profiles. All in all, this DVD sheds light on a recent
part of history forgotten too quickly and is highly recommended.
- Nicholas Sheffo