HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Day at the Beach, A Blind Faith
Year: 1970
Director: Simon Hesera
Stars: Mark Burns, Beatie Edney, Maurice Roëves, Jack MacGowran, Fiona Lewis, Eva Dahlbeck, Sisse Reingaard, Peter Sellers, Graham Stark, Bertel Lauring, Lily Bacberg, Joanna Dunham, Arthur Jensen
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Bernard (Mark Burns) arrives at the apartment building of Melissa (Fiona Lewis) and meets her husband just outside. He is not best pleased to see him, and questions why he is there at all, receiving the answer that Bernard is to take his supposed niece Winnie (Beatie Edney) out for a day at the beach. The husband gives him some cash to spend, but cannot hide his misgivings about letting the little girl out for a while with this known alcoholic, though as Bernard promises to be on his best behaviour to Melissa, who is also not too sure this is a good idea but needs someone to look after the child, surely nothing can go wrong?

Well, nothing except a consequence of abject despair in this, an almost forgotten little character piece that might have had a higher profile if it had been directed by Roman Polanski. Why him? That's because he wrote the script, adapting a Dutch novelist, Heere Heeresma, for a project that so the story goes he would have helmed himself if not for the tragic events of 1969 which took him away from films for a while, if not the spotlight. Therefore the onus for direction landed on his friend Simon Hesera, making his debut and practically ending his movie career with this as well, as it slipped through the cracks and wound up lost.

Well, it was believed lost until over twenty years later when it was rediscovered and offered a small re-release, so Polanski fans could see not so much what the fuss was about, but if there had been any fuss at all. In tone and design the film spoke to the character work he had been working on in the early to mid-sixties, with none of the extravagance of Dance of the Vampires or Rosemary's Baby, so it's a far lower key effort, although its effect is still alarming if you're in the right mood. It's plain to see that Bernard is tragically irresponsible and in no condition to be trusted with a child, so when we see him sneaking drinks from his sister's cabinet we worry about where this day is going to wind up.

With good reason, as in spite of Winnie being devoted to her uncle (who may actually be her father), her faith in him is misplaced. She is a poor little soul, handicapped by a leg brace and not appearing to be doted on by anyone except Bernard, and only then when he's not concentrating on fuelling his drinking problem. Her innocent adherence to the notion that because Bernard is her uncle then he will always have her best interests at heart is touching at first, but grows quickly concerning as he frequently goes off and leaves her alone in a strange place while he ventures forth in search of more drink. Add to that the fact that it pours with rain the whole time, and you're not looking at anything that could be mistaken for a laugh riot.

That said, there are parts where the story does come across as trying to be humorous, as when the most famous cast member shows up in the person of Peter Sellers. He and his old buddy Graham Stark play unlikely gay lovers running a boutique who try to chat up Bernard as he buys more booze from them, along with a shell to replace the one he bought for Winnie then had to abandon. Sellers is credited as A. Queen, but his role in this is more troubling than amusing, something which is true of the entire movie. At times Bernard is genuine in his attempts to do the right thing for his niece, such as buying her those shells or helping her on the dodgems when her feet won't reach the pedals, but the demon drink constantly distracts him, so he grows drunker, the day turns to night, and little Winnie is left to struggle with a despicable guardian who is rapidly inebriating himself into oblivion. Both Burns and Edney have a remarkable rapport with each other, which only makes the conclusion all the more bleak; it's an uneasy experience, but contrives to stay in the memory. Music by Mort Shuman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2465 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
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: