Savage Messiah

Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence.

Cast:
Dorothy Tutin Scott Antony Helen Mirren Lindsay Kemp Michael Gough John Justin

Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence.

Not unexpectedly played with most stops out, and soundtrack decibels at upper limits, a potentially introverted tale [from H.S. Ede’s book] is instead played broadly and with considerable panache, especially in having the artist portrayed as a physically strong and agile extrovert, and young to boot. A virtual unknown in his first pic role, Scott Antony rises beautifully to the challenge.

More expected, but enjoyable nevertheless, is Dorothy Tutin’s astute and measured delivery as the object of the sculptor’s affection, a would-be writer whose somber reasoning acts as counterpoint to his ebullience, while lending him inner strength. Helen Mirren is eye-filling and able as a women’s lib type (and, incongruously, improvised full-frontal nude model as well), while a number of backdrop roles are colorfully filled by a large back-up cast.

As usual, there’s more style than warmth in Russell’s character relationships. It is only at the end, when one is brought up sharply by the (true-to-life) news of the sculptor’s precocious demise, aged 23, in a World War II battle that some deep-down feeling comes into play.

Savage Messiah

UK

Production: Russfilm/M-G-M. Director Ken Russell; Producer Ken Russell; Screenplay Christopher Logue; Camera Dick Bush; Editor Michael Bradsell; Music Michael Garrett; Art Director George Lack, Derek Jarman

Crew: (Color) Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: Dorothy Tutin Scott Antony Helen Mirren Lindsay Kemp Michael Gough John Justin

More Film

  • Naomi Watts

    Naomi Watts to Star in Psychological Thriller 'The Wolf Hour'

    Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence. Not unexpectedly played with most stops out, […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: 'Boo 2! A Madea Halloween' Draws $760,000 on Thursday Night

    Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence. Not unexpectedly played with most stops out, […]

  • ‘Loving Vincent’ Breaks Out in Italy

    ‘Loving Vincent’ Breaks Out in Italy

    Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence. Not unexpectedly played with most stops out, […]

  • Harry Shearer This is Spinal Tap

    'Spinal Tap' Actors File Amended Complaint, Seek Ability to Reclaim Copyrights

    Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence. Not unexpectedly played with most stops out, […]

  • Academy Museum Gets Funding From Netflix,

    Academy Museum Gets Funding From Netflix, Charles Roven, Bloomberg Philanthropies

    Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence. Not unexpectedly played with most stops out, […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    Lumière Festival: Henri-Georges Clouzot, an Appreciation

    Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence. Not unexpectedly played with most stops out, […]

  • Take My Nose Please

    'Take My Nose...Please!' Comedy Documentary Lands at the Orchard

    Offbeat in subject matter (the platonic yet deeply affectionate love of an extrovert young French sculptor, Henri Gaudier, for an introverted older woman, set early in this century) pic is distinctively Russellian in treatment as well, showing that the British director has lost none of his filmic impudence. Not unexpectedly played with most stops out, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content