HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  14, The Bloody Kids
Year: 1973
Director: David Hemmings
Stars: Jack Wild, June Brown, Liz Edmiston, John Bailey, Diana Reevers, Alun Armstrong, Cheryl Hall, Keith Buckley, Anna Wing, Tony Calvin, Chris Kelly, Frank Gentry, Peter Newby, Paul Daly, Richard Heywood, Terry Ives, Christopher Leonard, Sean Hyde
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A mother (June Brown) weighed down with shopping makes her way through one of London's slum areas, which is already being gradually knocked down to make way for new housing. She still lives there with her fourteen kids, and dotes over them in spite of the children being far too numerous for her to handle properly, but two of them, Reg (Jack Wild) and Sylvia (Liz Edmiston) are almost grown, being in their mid-to-late teens and manage to assist her with the younger ones, including the baby. They do more than their mother's boyfriend (Alun Armstrong) ever bothers to, but while the family is just about sticking together, tragedy is around the corner...

The 14 was loosely based on a true story, a minor cause celebre of the late sixties where a large brood of children were left to fend for themselves when their mother died suddenly. The social services were at their wits' end trying to find a home for them, mainly because they were so determined to stay together and refused to be split up no matter how much it was explained to them that they could not be adopted by one single family, largely thanks to their general unruliness ensuring that nobody was interested in taking them under their wing. Although actor turned director David Hemmings depicted them with sympathy, you could well see why that was the case.

The family, their father(s) long gone, are a law unto themselves and act as agents of chaos, so much of a handful that they are their own worst enemies. Even when their plight becomes famous, or notorious might be a better word, and the public are on their side regarding the social workers as a bunch of meanies at best, not one of them are prepared to assist, preferring to criticise without understanding the size of the task ahead. At first the council send round a home help (Anna Wing, like Brown an actress who would make her name in popular soap opera Eastenders in the following decade), but the boys send her packing before the day is up, covered in mashed potato.

They are of a mind to not take orders from anyone now the mostly calming influence of their late parent has been taken away from them, which naturally makes them well nigh impossible to deal with as whenever they are taken to an orphanage they contrive to escape and reunite back at the increasingly rundown house they were brought up in. Hemmings obviously thinks they are little angels, though the less charitable may see them as a bunch of brats, but that did not mean he sugarcoated their plight into a typically Hollywood-aping weepie, as he and his screenwriter Roland Starke were careful to include many scenes of the kids' bad behaviour, it's just that they as filmmakers refused to pass judgement on them and their moves towards juvenile delinquency.

The tagline optmistically told potential viewers the 14 would make you laugh and cry and you would never forget them, which might be overstating it, yet the fact this was a true tale did offer it a memorable quality in spite of its occasionally contrived sentimentality - witness the scene where they all assemble for Christmas - and there was another reason this gathered a cult following. He was Jack Wild, the tragic star who saw his career blighted and pretty much ended by alcoholism, something which made his legion of fans want to mother him all the more, and here as often at this point he was playing younger than his years, in his twenties and acting a seventeen-year-old. He was well cast as essentially the father figure his siblings do not have, bargaining with the authorities to try and get the family's way but faced with the understanding yet pragmatic reasoning there is no chance of their wishes coming true. This slotted in with the kitchen sink, social responsibility tales of the previous decade and Hemmings worked up a contrasting grit with well-chosen locations. Music by Kenny Clayton.

Aka: Experience; The Little Wild Bunch
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3181 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
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: