HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Buster Good Bad BoyBuy this film here.
Year: 1988
Director: David Green
Stars: Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb, Stephanie Lawrence, Ellie Beaven, Michael Attwell, Ralph Brown, Christopher Ellison, Sheila Hancock, Martin Jarvis, Clive Wood, Anthony Quayle, Michael Byrne, Harold Innocent, Rupert Vansittart, John Benfield
Genre: Biopic
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: London, 1963, and small time crook Buster Edwards (Phil Collins) is on his way to a funeral, except he doesn't have a proper suit, so in a moment of opportunism he steals one from a shop window, turning up just in time to catch the end of the burial ceremony where he is greeted by some of his fellow crooks, along with a police detective who is there to see who shows up. Buster assures him he is going straight, but nothing could be further from the truth, as he continues to generate his income by theft, though his wife June (Julie Walters) still complains about their lack of money.

So how about a major robbery to set the couple up for life? And not only them, but the rest of the gang instrumental in The Great Train Robbery of the mid-sixties, about which this film took Buster as its hero, played up to the hilt by Collins as a loveable cheeky chappie conveniently glossing over the less salubrious aspects of the actual criminal. For this reason the film proved controversial, with Prince Charles and Princess Diana cancelling a charity premiere appearance for the film because wiser heads prevailed considering it would not be particularly laudable to see the Royals endorsing a movie making light of the crime.

Even after over twenty years, the incident was very much in the British public's consciousness, with one other gang member Ronnie Biggs a cause celebre since his flight to Brazil, seen as living it up in tropical climes when the police were powerless to arrest him back home thanks to a lack of an extradition treaty with that country. As for Edwards, by this time he had paid his debt to society and had famously been running his own flower stall in London, so presumably the filmmakers thought it was a pretty safe bet to build a film around him and his story. But even when this was released, there were many voices of dissent when they saw how the man was depicted.

Not only was Edwards a salt of the earth Cockney who was loving to his wife, but in Colin Shindler's screenplay he was a powerful anti-establishment figure who threatened the status quo in the same way that Christine Keeler had during the then-recent Profumo Scandal (also the subject of a film the following year). Whether you swallowed that or not, Collins' relentlessly bumptious performance was not one you would be on the fence about, either you went along with this portrayal as a sixties folk hero who loved his country so much that even when he escaped abroad he couldn't bear to be parted from it, or you found his overbearing mateyness a source of annoyance.

But there were deeper problems than that, and those were related to the real life story and how they were different to the story we were asked to accept in the fictionalised version. Edwards was depicted as a chancer who stumbles into his life of crime, so nowhere in this was it mentioned he had been a major part of a huge theft the year before at Heathrow Airport, though had evaded capture: not quite the amateur this would have you believe. And more problematic for many was the train driver, Jack Mills, seriously injured in the celebrated robbery itself when the gang beat him over the head with a metal bar, leaving him suffering complications for the rest of his curtailed life: we see this happen in long shot, and Buster is not the gang member who strikes him, in spite of rumours to the contrary. Business like that wouldn't fit in with the film's dubious morality in creating a laudable and essentially harmless rogue. As it is, the further this went on the more small time it seemed, more appropriate for a TV play than a big screen outing with its soap opera drama. Music by Collins (of course) and Anne Dudley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1961 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


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 do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: