HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
Sleep
Freaky
Nightbooks
Whisker Away, A
Wild Indian
Whale Island
Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
   
 
Newest Articles
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
   
 
  Bloodline Anaemic murder mystery
Year: 1979
Director: Terence Young
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara, James Mason, Romy Schneider, Omar Sharif, Gert Fröbe, Irene Papas, Maurice Ronet, Claudia Mori, Michelle Phillips, Beatrice Straight, Marcel Bozzuffi, Pinkas Braun, Ivan Desny, Vadim Glowna, Walter Kohut, Wolfgang Preiss
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Trash, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: Billionaire pharmaceutical tycoon Sam Roffe dies in a mountain climbing accident, leaving his daughter Elizabeth (Audrey Hepburn) reluctant president of Roffe & Sons Pharmaceuticals. It is not long before Elizabeth is under pressure to sell the company from her cousins who are all desperate to sell their stocks for a rich reward: Tory MP Sir Alec Nichols (James Mason) has huge gambling debts incurred by his trampy wife (Michelle Phillips); daredevil racecar driver Hélène Martin (Romy Schneider) has similar problems thanks to her shifty husband Charles (Maurice Ronet); playboy Ivo Palazzi (Omar Sharif) has an angry mistress (Claudia Mori) after an inheritence for their three sons, but his wife Simonetta (Irene Papas) has no intention of sharing a fortune meant for their three daughters. Only Rhys Williams (Ben Gazzara), her father’s right hand man, has Elizabeth’s trust and she proposes a marriage of convenience to gain his help in organizing the company. However, Inspector Max Hornung (Gert Fröbe) reveals her father was the victim of murder. Soon afterwards someone repeatedly tries to kill Elizabeth. According to the inspector, everyone on the board has a motive, including her beloved Rhys.

Sydney Sheldon penned screenplays for, among others, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (1947) and Annie Get Your Gun (1950) and created classic TV shows I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart, but found real wealth and fame as a best-selling author. Glossy international conspiracies involving glamorous jet-setting types were his stock and trade, the kind of sexy, fanciful trash you might pick up at an airport bookstore for your holiday read. Many of Sheldon’s thrillers were adapted into TV movies or miniseries, inevitably starring a former Charlie’s Angel, but Bloodline followed The Other Side of Midnight (1976) into the cinema.

Glossy but lurid, Bloodline has the air of a giallo about it, given the plot grows increasingly demented encompassing a pair of psychotic snuff filmmakers strangling random naked girls with a red necktie and a brilliant scientist who uncovers the secret of immortality! It was the only R-rated movie Audrey Hepburn ever made and frankly, it’s rather jarring to see a class act like her surrounded by sleazy violence, nudity and tacky melodrama. Having returned to the screen after an absence of nine years in the elegaic Robin and Marian (1976), Hepburn made sporadic comebacks but sadly, rarely found movies worthy of her. Bloodline gets pretty damn ridiculous at times, but while James Mason and especially Omar Sharif camp it up shamelessly, Audrey plays it straight, which is why we love her.

This was an extravagant production, boasting a starry international cast, expensive locations, a lush romantic score by maestro Ennio Morricone and superb photography by the great Freddie Young, but Sheldon’s plot - adapted by Laird Koenig, author of The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976) which was made into a cult thriller with Jodie Foster - is the sort of vacuous corporate nonsense that came to dominate the small screen, on Dallas or Dynasty. On the big screen, no amount of star-power and chic scenery can disguise the sheer silliness of scenes where Rhys and Elizabeth tour the Roffe futuristic factory (while Morricone’s soundtrack goes disco); Max converses with a crime-solving super-computer that talks just like a Cylon; Ivo runs away from his mistress and family in a Benny Hill chase scene; and Elizabeth thumbs through a photo-album whose images are just stills from the set of flashback scenes in pre-war Poland (who took these pictures and how did they get characters to pose in the midst of their drama?).

Terence Young once ranked among the most gifted thriller directors, but his stolid direction does the film no favours while the plot lurches all over the place and the suspense scenes simply aren’t that suspenseful. The finale is a virtual reprise of the climax to Hepburn and Young’s first collaboration, Wait Until Dark (1967), but where that was taut and striking, here we’re left with more loose ends than a bucket full of spaghetti and a killer whose identity might as well have been drawn out of a hat. Equally perplexing is Rhys, who is drawn a rather louche hero. He spends his wedding night in bed with Hélène, routinely cheats on Elizabeth and when she catches him assures her their marriage will work if she “stops being such a neurotic bitch.” It is actually Gert Fröbe as Max who saves our heroine, while Rhys hovers on the sidelines growling “Just shoot, you dumb son of a bitch.” And for all that, he gets Audrey. Go figure.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3907 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: