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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Crime > Legal > British Telefilm > Longford (British Telefilm/HBO/DVD-Video)

Longford (British Telefilm/HBO/DVD-Video)

 

Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: B-†††† Telefilm: B

 

 

Frank Aungier Pakenham, the 7th Earl of Longford (Jim Broadbent) fights against the system in his quest to make sure prisoners are treated with rights and dignity no matter what the crime.He has done this for years and it has not been without its controversy.He is a deeply religious man and respected, but all this also is strained when he defends child killer Myra Hindley (Samantha Morton) who becomes the scourge of the country and is even constantly targeted in jail.

 

Pakenham believes in moral redemption, but the print, radio and TV media does not and extended conflict begins as Hindleyís case slowly unravels, including what really happened over the murders, why and who inside the government might find it convenient to their careers and other activities to keep her demonized and Pakenham away from her altogether.

 

This is very impressive, powerful and the performances by Broadbent and Morton are exceptional.We occasionally see good TV movies from Britain, but can see why HBO wanted this one in particular.Director Tom Hopper manages to pull off telling the story without being judgmental or heavy-handed, something most directors would have done to take the shortcut way out of the challenge of the situation.Peter Morganís teleplay is very thorough and the result is a very smooth presentation of a sad situation for all.Donít miss it.

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image occasionally has stock footage in it that is older video, while the newer footage can be soft and color seems to have been removed somewhat.We guess Director of Photography Danny Cohen is one of the deciders of this, but it is an understandable approach.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix is good for dialogue and has no surrounds.Extras include For The Record, a piece about the actual murders and an audio commentary by director Hopper and writer Morgan that is very good.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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