Silent Cry

Certainly timely, with the Shipman case still making headlines in the U.K. and a rash of child abductions receiving similar attention here, Julian Richards' "Silent Cry" is nonetheless a wholly unremarkable traipse around the old whodunit block -- rather like a subpar installment of PBS' long-running "Mystery!" series.

With:
With: Emily Woof, Douglas Henshall, Clive Russell, Kevin Whitely, Frank Finlay, Craig Kelly, Stephanie Buttle, Steve Sweeney, Roger Nott, Richard Lumsden, Tilly Vosburgh, Tameka Empson.

Certainly timely, with the Shipman case still making headlines in the U.K. and a rash of child abductions receiving similar attention here, Julian Richards’ “Silent Cry” is nonetheless a wholly unremarkable traipse around the old whodunit block — rather like a subpar installment of PBS’ long-running “Mystery!” series, complete with its capable Brit cast going through the motions, happy to pick up their paychecks without too much effort.

Despite widescreen lensing, pic, which to date has made a few fest appearances, is most definitely a small-screen affair. Concerning a young mother’s (Emily Woof) search for the baby she believes was abducted from her while still in hospital (despite her doctor’s assurance the baby died), pic grows into a laughably convoluted conspiracy thriller, seasoned with a pinch of police corruption, a dash of prostitution and a sprinkling of black-market adoption agencies. And just in case we don’t realize how utterly routine this all is, Richards and screenwriter Simon Lubert have made sure to have the cast (which includes, ever so briefly, the always enjoyable Frank Finlay) stand around declaiming lots of atrocious expository dialogue every time they get the chance.

Silent Cry

U.K.

Production: A Little Wing Films presentation of a First Foot Films production. Produced by Tim Dennison, Peter La Terriere. Directed by Julian Richards. Screenplay, Simon Lubert.

Crew: Camera (Soho Images Film Laboratory color, widescreen), Tony Imi; editor, Les Healey; music, David A. Hughes; production designer, Laurence Dorman; art director, Paul Ghirardani; sound (Dolby), Jim Greenhorn; assistant director, Mark Inglis. Reviewed at Malibu Film Festival, Aug. 20, 2002. (Also in Silverlake Film Festival.) Running time: 87 MIN.

With: With: Emily Woof, Douglas Henshall, Clive Russell, Kevin Whitely, Frank Finlay, Craig Kelly, Stephanie Buttle, Steve Sweeney, Roger Nott, Richard Lumsden, Tilly Vosburgh, Tameka Empson.

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