First-time writer-director Stephen Poliakoff, an established legit playwright, tries very hard with Hidden City. Unfortunately he tries too hard, and the result is an overlong film with too many storylines and not enough good acting that rambles along with an air of self-importance.

First-time writer-director Stephen Poliakoff, an established legit playwright, tries very hard with Hidden City. Unfortunately he tries too hard, and the result is an overlong film with too many storylines and not enough good acting that rambles along with an air of self-importance.

Charles Dance plays a statistician whose well-ordered and smug life is shattered when he gets involved with Cassie Stuart, who is obsessed with finding a mysterious piece of film that appears to have been hidden by the government. The search for fragments of the lost film takes them into a maze of tunnels underneath London packed with official government archive film and discarded classified material, and into brushes with the police. At this point the action loses its way.

Dance is in good form as the sexy statistician, though he looks a bit bemused at some of the situations the storyline pushes him into. Stuart has an appealing waif-like quality, but her acting here amounts to looking intense, running about, and shouting ‘quick, hurry up’ to Dance a great deal.

Hidden City

Production

Hidden City/Channel 4. Dir Stephen Poliakoff; Producer Irving Teitelbaum; Screenplay Stephen Poliakoff; Camera Witold Stok; Editor Peter Coulson; Music Michael Storey Art Dir Martin Johnson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Charles Dance Cassie Stuart Bill Paterson Richard E. Grant Alex Horton Tusse Silberg
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