The Reckoning

1970

Drama

3
IMDb Rating 6.8/10 10 638 638

Director

Top cast

Rachel Roberts as Joyce Eglington
Peter Sallis as Keresley
Nicol Williamson as Michael Marler
Sheila Gish as Mrs. Garner
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1011.35 MB
1280*732
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 50 min
Seeds 11
1.83 GB
1888*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 50 min
Seeds 28

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ChuckTurner 8 / 10

A Powerful, Bravura Picture

I am in complete agreement with dan-filson-928-874987: THE RECKONING (which could almost be called a lost film now)is a powerful drama with a bravura performance by Nicol Williamson at its heart. Williamson specialised in being hard to like: he relished the negative attributes of every character he played. His performances tend to be quite broad, but the complete absence of sentimentality keeps them fresh. In THE RECKONING director Jack Gold keeps theatricality at bay. The powerful ending described by dan-filson-928-874987 is a fresh memory for me even after 40 years. Yes, there are similarities to GET CARTER: but CARTER is a genre picture, and THE RECKONING is a character drama. Both films are highly accomplished, but comparing them doesn't really shed much light on either, in my opinion. Time for Columbia or the BFI to get hold of a master and issue this on DVD.

Reviewed by tomgillespie2002 8 / 10

A true forgotten British gem

Indicator are a small British blu-ray label who seem to have made it their ultimate goal to unearth some of the best and weirdest forgotten gems from Britain's cinematic past, routinely releasing titles I've never even heard of that turn out to be well worthy of a remaster and rediscovery. One such title is Jack Gold's The Reckoning, a tough, lean thriller about a no-nonsense businessman who travels up North seeking vengeance. Sound familiar? The Reckoning has been compared to Get Carter, which was released the following year, and the two films certainly share some similarities. Yet tonally and thematically the two are worlds apart, with Gold's film more eager to explore class divide and national identity than Carter's more straightforward revenge fantasy. The Reckoning may also be the better film: a punishing experience full of off-putting characters that leaves more of a lasting impression than what many consider to be Michael Caine's finest hour.

It tells the story of Mick Marler (Nicol Williamson), a corporate ball-buster who has worked his way up the ladder over the years with a combination of ruthless business savvy and sheer intimidation. He seems satisfied with his high income and strong social standing, but also has a button-pushing, gold-digging wife (Ann Bell) to contend with. After putting the pieces in place for a business manoeuvre that will favour both himself and his boss (as well as doing away with his biggest rival), Mick heads up north to Liverpool to visit his working-class Irish family. Immediately upon arrival, he discovers his father has died from a heart attack, but is disturbed when he discovers bruising on his father's body. After doing some digging, Mick learns that his father got into a fight with some English 'teddy boys', suffering the fatal heart attack after being punched and kicked to the ground by one of the gang. With his Irish blood boiling inside of him, Mick decides that he must avenge his father, but he also has responsibilities back home.

Torn between his two worlds, Mick goes on a journey of self-discovery that ultimately makes him even more loathsome. When he is in the South, he laughs at the idea of being bound by blood and tradition to avenge his father, but when he is back North, a beast is awoken inside him, and he is irresistibly drawn to embracing his primitive instincts. It's a tough, ugly film that asks you to stick with this part-thug, part-corporate psychopath for just shy of two hours, but John McGrath's screenplay - based on the novel by Patrick Hall - trusts the audience to at least try to understand the man who breezes between two equally brutal, yet entirely different, worlds. This isn't action-packed or even violent as you would expect from a man-on-a-revenge-mission movie, but takes its time to develop this hateful yet fascinating character who used his working-class upbringing to batter his way into the world of lavish dinner parties and fast cars, and was both intrigued and repulsed by what he found. Williamson is excellent, managing to emote both outer ferocity and inner turmoil at the same time, and it's a puzzle why the actor didn't go on to land bigger roles. While it's chaotic at times, The Reckoning is a true forgotten gem that highlights how important the work carried out by Indicator really is.

Reviewed by dan-filson-928-874987 8 / 10

Bravura performance by Nicol Williamson, and a great Jack Gold ensemble film

I disagree with the first reviewer - this is a bravura performance by Nicol Williamson and much better than 'Get Carter'. As an indication of how much I respected this film, my father was in the film industry in London at the time and I was in Manchester as a student. I saw the film poorly advertised in a small cinema and felt it was wholly spoiled by the poor performance of the film's marketing and distributors. So much so that on leaving the cinema I telephoned my father at once from a call box and told him how highly I rated it. He may have been startled to hear from me as I was the typical uncommunicative student, never writing home.

The film not only has Williamson but also Rachel Roberts giving a good performance, and the ensemble cast does some fine work - there is a brilliant mocking of life in a Virginia Water type of suburbia where all have quality cars in their drives and trite conversation over canapés. It is critical in its style of the mass demolition of the Liverpool slums and is almost elegiac at what is lost thereby, much in the same way as was The Likely Lads TV series. 'Get Carter' is more vulgar, with Michael Caine producing shotguns and leaving bodies about. Williamson is much more earthy - there is a brutal kicking in the film which really makes you wince.

It's also, in its way, a tribute to a kind of Brendan Behan Irishness that was being squeezed out of Britain's cities - the hard-working, hard-living heavy-drinking workers who actually built things with their muscles as opposed to the prissy types who never dirtied their hands. This is why the Williamson character is such an outcast in his smooth London corporate job (in the heart of a City of London that would over the next 15 years also be transformed) but nonetheless effective in his own rough and ready blunt way.

One superb moment is at the end of the film when Williamson driving his Jaguar at breakneck speed has jumped a Stop sign at a roadworks and is racing down a single track sure that oncoming traffic must be starting his way shortly. He just gets away with it, at the expense of a few traffic cones and similar, and one of those in the car says words to the effect "If you can get away with that, you can get away with anything". As he does (I won't spoil the plot by saying more). This is not a sanitized look at Liverpool but a cold stare. Jack Gold made a great film here and it deserved better of its distributors who did not have faith in the product.

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