A Sense Of Freedom

  • 1979
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Biography, Crime

Beatle George Harrison got into movies with the same complete dedication he showed toward music. His firm, Hand Made Films, has been responsible for some of the more interesting pictures to come out of Britain in the 1980s, and this is no exception. Hayman plays Jimmy Boyle, a real Scottish gangster who spent years in various prisons when he wasn't out...read more

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Beatle George Harrison got into movies with the same complete dedication he showed toward music. His firm, Hand Made Films, has been responsible for some of the more interesting pictures to come out of Britain in the 1980s, and this is no exception. Hayman plays Jimmy Boyle, a real

Scottish gangster who spent years in various prisons when he wasn't out terrorizing shopkeepers. After Boyle went straight, he married a psychiatrist and, with his wife, began overseeing halfway houses for the rehabilitation of convicts. The film is a no-stance picture. McDougall's screenplay and

Mackenzie's direction are presented without comment or any editorializing. It begins in the early 1960s. Hayman is seen as the cocksure Glaswegian, roaming the roads of his native town, taking money from people, and showing them his prowess with his fists and a razor if they don't come across. The

movie's semidocumentary style indicates Hayman is a small prince, ruling over a neighborhood realm and standing virtually unchallenged because he keeps his borders small. When he does venture outside the prescribed area, he is rewarded with a beating, but he shrugs it off and accepts the bleeding

and bruises as part of the penalty he must pay. His carefree life changes when he is accused of murder and sent to jail. He is so tough and recalcitrant that he is sent from one institution to another as he becomes increasingly difficult to handle. Hayman moves into each facility and attempts to

show at once that he cannot be intimidated, getting into fistfights with guards and other cons, sometimes within moments of having been transferred. (Some of the scenes are particularly brutal and even disgusting, so keep children from seeing this.) After serving several years doing hard time,

Hayman is sent to a minimum security prison. The smile on his face when he sees the cheery walls of his cell is a marvel to behold. Boyle wrote the autobiography upon which Scottish playwright McDougall based the screenplay. Fans of the British crime genre will recognize the name of the director

as the same man who made the excellent THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY (1982). A SENSE OF FREEDOM was made for Scottish television and later released as a feature.

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  • Released: 1979
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Beatle George Harrison got into movies with the same complete dedication he showed toward music. His firm, Hand Made Films, has been responsible for some of the more interesting pictures to come out of Britain in the 1980s, and this is no exception. Hayman… (more)

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