The Offence (1973) - Crime, Drama, Thriller

Hohum Score



A burnt-out British police detective finally snaps whilst interrogating a suspected child molester.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Trevor Howard
Length: 112 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 6 out of 43 found boring (13.95%)

One-line Reviews (40)

With 'The Offence', Hopkins took this philosophy to the limit and created a stunning portrayal of latent evil emerging from the wrecked personality of a good man.

Five-time Oscar nominee Sidney Lumet (Network, Dog Day Afternoon) directs John Hopkins' play and gives us an intense and revealing portrait of the effect of years of crawling around in the slime, and what it can do to people.

Overall, an intense study of a forceful, angry character.

But it is incredibly, painfully slow and tedious.

A fascinating character study (***½ out of ****) .

John Hopkins's story is so sad because it portrays a slow, steady, intricate outcome, leaking with dead tension splattered beneath the pressure of squelched ferocity, of the diversion of social roles.

The characters and motivations are totally contrived.

What a Pretentious Load of Crap.

I want the 2 hours of my life back :( This is a pretentious load of crap.

The interrogation scenes between him and an excellent Ian Bannen, as the prime suspect in a child molestation case, are riveting.

Sean Connery plays a cop on the edge.

Erasing all traces of James Bond, Connery sinks deep into this tortured character, with Ian Bannen riveting as the suspect.

"The Offence" (1973) is well-photographed by Gerry Fisher (who also did the cinematography for two other Lumet films: "The Sea Gull" and the great "Running on Empty").

Those who stick with it, however, will find the adult material tense, intriguing and haunting.

Grim and compelling, it is one of the darkest and most disturbing movies you are likely to watch, but it is utterly absorbing.

Not just from Ian Bannen, but without getting sidetracked, like The Hill, this Lumet masterpiece could just as easily be a stage play; set within the confines of bare walls it is unadulterated and intense drama from start to finish.

It IS a very dark, depressing film but it's always absorbing and easily contains one of Connery's best performances.

Vivien Merchant and Trevor Howard are also compelling in vital supporting roles.

Lumet has adopted a jarring, off-putting European style: odd angles, drab settings, and long, slow takes.

The slow, brooding, quiet pace to the film lends an air of disquiet, and an impending tragedy.

But it was definitely very dark and intense.

Bleak, intense and disturbing - a masterclass from both Sidney Lumet and Sean Connery.

"The Offence" is a gripping psychological drama starring Sean Connery, who plays Detective Sergeant Johnson.

The use of slow motion in the flashback moments also employs a sort of circular filter at the centre of the screen, reflecting Johnson's disconnection from his actions but getting slightly tiresome in the process.

The uncompromisingly bleak tone as well as the unpleasant subject matter will be too much for some, but if you can get past that; what we have here is a very intense and interesting character study, as well as a film that sees the great Sean Connery give one of the best performances of his impressive career.

Connery has never been better, utterly compelling, a brooding force of nature and as committed to role as he has ever been.

The first half is a very boring and slow "who done it?

They look like awkward puppets acting out the tedious message of the film makers.

The second half is one of those pretentious dialogs where two characters talk at each other for an hour.

Set with a bleak concrete back drop of a "New Town" (cheaply built monstrosities the government knocked up to ease the housing issues), The Offence is a fascinating blend of police procedural and psychological drama.

The time jumps in the narrative are woven seamlessly into the film, and it takes a better critic than myself to explain what they are meant to achieve, since I found 'The Offence' so absorbing I wasn't taking much notice of them.

The scene with you and Vivian Merchant was really intense.

The Offence gives a truly fascinating look at the human psyche.

Apart from that tricky psychological side of the film, it is rather simple and uneventful.

The Offence is Sean Connery's best performance in a major motion picture, the problem though is that the film bombed and was rarely seen in the cinema, probably due to the material content of this very dark and dramatically compelling story.

Too long, in fact, as many scenes precipitously tip from intriguing to slumber-inducing, and several scenes continue on far past their point of usefulness.

the suspect, his wife, his boss) is very intense and we are often allowed to get inside the character's head.

Connery is a detective on the edge of sanity.

Grim and compelling, this is one of the darkest and disturbing films your ever likely to see, and anyone who says that Sean Connery can't act, then they should see this film immediately.

I found it very disjointed.