HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
Climax, The
Justice League Dark
Night Watchmen, The
Bandh Darwaza
   
 
Newest Articles
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
   
 
  Mr Forbush and the Penguins P-p-pick Up A PersonalityBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: Alfred Viola, Roy Boulting, Arne Sucksdorff
Stars: John Hurt, Hayley Mills, Dudley Sutton, Tony Britton, Avril Angers, Thorley Walters, Judy Campbell, Salman Peerzada, Julian Pennell, Sally Geeson, Joss Ackland, Brian Oulton, Cyril Luckham
Genre: Drama
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mr Forbush (John Hurt) is a wealthy university student who cares more for the ladies than he does his studies. He doesn't show up to collect an academic award, instead preferring to spend the evening with his latest conquest; the next morning he goes to his usual haunt for a cup of coffee, and meets yet another young woman, student and waitress Tara (Hayley Mills), who he takes an instant liking to. Unfortunately for Mr Forbush, the feeling isn't mutual and Tara shuns his advances no matter how much he pursues her, so what will make her change her mind? Forbush completes his course soon and will be heading off to study animals, but has not settled on where, until his professor (Tony Britton) suggests he head south - almost as far south as it's possible to go...

Written by Anthony Shaffer from Graham Billing's novel, Mr Forbush and the Penguins capitalises on the theory that there's no bird quite as loveable as the penguin, for that is the animal Forbush decides to study. If you have doubts when the professor says that his pupil is an excellent biologist despite his womanising ways, there's a reason for that: all that stuff about life in England was added later to increase the film's appeal, and not even directed by Alfred Viola, who had handled the Antarctic scenes (it was directed by Mills' husband Roy Boulting instead, here uncredited). The outcome of this is that it's a story very much of two halves and you can qute clearly see the join, but the addition of a character building plotline that sees Forbush change his ways is not necessarily the disaster that it might have been.

Forbush realises that his shallow manner is not going to make a good impression on Tara, which is the main reason he agrees to spend most of the year alone with the penguins. He bids farewell to his disinterested parents, tells his friend Star (Dudley Sutton), who is also headed down that way, that he'll see him at Christmas, and is given a St Christopher's medal by a now sympathetic Tara who he plans to see when he gets back, and will send tape recordings of his thoughts to her. And so it's off to the Antarctic, filmed on location amid the bleakly beautiful scenery (with the assistance of documentary maker Arne Sucksdorff), to wait for the birds to arrive. This takes some time, but there's a nice instant when he spots the first penguin appearing out of the whiteness like Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia.

Around two thousand birds follow and Forbush has company at last, the study becoming his all-consuming obsession as he tags and observes the creatures going about their daily business of making more penguins. He resents having to dissect the odd bird for research purposes, but resents even more the predators that attack the colony, especially the skewers, a type of gull that feasts on the eggs and later the helpless chicks. So involved with his work is Forbush that when a U.S. Navy helicopter arrives to see how he's getting on, he shouts at them for scaring the birds, and you do feel his sense of intrusion. All the while he sends tapes to Tara and she occasionally writes back, not mentioning she has a boyfriend now.

In fact, so obsessed with the penguins does Mr Forbush become that he actually turns into a penguin. Well, not exactly, but he feels like a protective father to the animals and ridding their world of the skewers is his new mission. Having to contend with blizzards that nearly kill him is nothing compared to saving the chicks, and when Star does arrive Forbush doesn't know that it's Christmas already and yells at him for joking that he would serve a penguin or two to his huskies. The isolation of the place deeply affects Forbush, so much so that he forgets his scientific impartiality and even builds a catapult to destroy the attacking gulls. But because of the love story from back home, the plot pulls in different directions which is not altogether unsatisfying but makes you think they'd be better off as two separate films as Forbush effectively redeems himself twice. Hurt remains convincingly dedicated once he reaches the snowy wastes, however. Music by John Addison.

Aka: Cry of the Penguins
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7661 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: