Villain (1971)

villain-1971-poster-richard-burton

First up I have to say I was rather disappointed waiting for Ian McShane to metamorphosis into a werewolf! What a charlatan, calling himself Wolf. I was duped. Anyhoo on to the film.

Big love for the old British gangster movie with the likes of Michael Caine leading the way with the sublime Get Carter and Bob Hoskins The Long Good Friday not far away. Then there’s Mona Lisa where both the actors are together shouting out fantastic performances alongside the sexy Cathy Tyson. I’m not much of a fan of the new gangster film but anything from the 70’s & 80’s I’m pretty much all over it.

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One of Vic’s rage outs. Run for it.

Villain from 1971 and directed by Michael Tuchner was one that had totally passed me by though. Starring Richard Burton who tries to hide that superb Welsh War Of The World’s voice behind a rather dodgy cockney accent. Mr Burton plays Vic Dakin a hard gangster running his own firm but still living at home with his beloved Mother. A closeted homosexual who is obsessed with Wolf and lashes out on him with macho violence for his kicks. Anyone stupidly wrong doing him gets a swift bout of cockney fisted rage. Apparently his character was based on real-life gangster Ronnie Kray.

Tagline – Meet Vic Dakin. Then wish you hadn’t!

villain-1971-vic-and-wolfe

Ian McShane plays Wolfe Lissner, a wide boy hustler, wheeler and dealer. Setting up deals, sorting out problems for his boss, bit of pimping here and there and ducking and a diving the po-po as they tail him and harass him whenever they can.

The other players in this gangster flick are Nigel Davenport and Colin Welland playing Bob Matthews and Tom Binney, two cops trying to outsmart Vic’s plan. Other gangsters on Vic’s payroll are Duncan, a kind of PR man who also helps out with Vic’s Mum, and Terry the muscle and driver who likes to eye up the “birds”. Plus there’s a burping ulcer man secondhand car dealer gangster from another firm called Edgar Lowis played by Joss “diplomatic immunity” Ackland.

Bob Matthews: I don’t know what you’re hoping to achieve, except perhaps an orgasm.

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Who’s a naughty boy then.

Tagline – By the time he’s ready to kill you, it’s an act of mercy.

Vic Dakin is after money, a big job with a big hit of cash. The plan is sorted, three cars to box in the “money” car. Easy job, everything is planned to the T, easy lemon squeezy. Nothing could possibly go wrong? What does go well is an awesome car chase and fight in all the chaos. One of the best bits of the film.

Talking of lemon squeezy, what a great way to use a JIF squeezy lemon bottle, biodegradable, nontoxic and easy to purchase, just don’t get it in your eyes! New edition to my night time wolfman vigilante toolkit maybe?

villain-1971-robbery-car-chase
Yippie it’s panyhoes on head time!

By the way WTF was that/is that anti-robbery suitcase money bag. With the tripod legs that fire out? I’ve never seen anything like it before and can’t find any information at all on it. Let me know if you’ve seen that before as I’m very intrigued to how that works or if it’s real. Definitely makes things difficult.

villain-1971-tripod-anti-robbery-money-bag
Crazy anti-theft device.

Filled with great British swear words, awesome vintage cars like Wolfe’s Mark 1 Ford Capri, grasses and snitches, car chases, cups of tea and sandwiches and a few boobies thrown in. This is a relatively little known gangster film which is well worth tracking down if you ever get a chance.

Fun Fact – Composer Jonathan Hodge does the film score for Villain and it’s really darn funky. With all the right paces getting hit through chase scenes and fights. There’s a great jazz tune as well but unfortunately it seems that it has never seen the light of day. Any info please feel free to hit me up.

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Love this image. Like a film noir poster

Vic Dakin: “Bleedin pigeons!”

Further Reading Links

Soundtrack Collector Villain 1971 OST 

Villain 1971 IMDB

BFI Screen online

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2 thoughts on “Villain (1971)

  1. Probably the most underrated British crime film of all. Great film and a favourite of mine. If you get the chance, read the source: James Barlow’s classic 1968 novel The Burden Of Proof. Brilliant novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Iain. Thanks for the tip, I will keep an eye out for a copy. Didn’t realise it was based on a novel. It’s a most excellent film and I’m so glad to have seen it as it had passed me by for all those years. Thanks kindly for the comment and info. 🙂

      Like

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