Made for British television, THE GLORY BOYS shoots itself in the foot by relying too much on convoluted plot twists and not enough on character development.
Arab terrorist Famy (Gary Brown) is bent on killing famed Israeli nuclear scientist Dr. David Sokarev (Rod Steiger). In London he joins with Kirin McCoy (Aaron Harris) a thrill-seeking IRA terrorist who shares an interest in Sokarev's assassination. In Washington D.C., Sokarev, informed of the
conspiracy, tries to cancel his itinerary, but the government refuses, believing it will send a message of capitulation to terrorism. He reluctantly proceeds to his London engagement under the protection of veteran security agent Jimmy (Anthony Perkins), an alcoholic with a maverick streak. The
terrorists botch their hit and split up. Wounded McCoy stays at the suburban home of Norah (Salleyanne Law), a local girl who inexplicably loves the brutal killer. Police catch McCoy, and Jimmy pries out of him Famy's next plan: to kill Sokarev at Heathrow Airport. Jimmy leads his men in a race
against time and manage to collar the Arab. Driven by vague, private motivations or perhaps just a violent impulse, Jimmy executes Famy right there on the tarmac. On the plane ride back home, Sokarev suffers a heart attack and dies. Jimmy, now unemployed and back to his business of full-time
drinking, hears the news, and the picture ends with him drunkenly laughing at the irony.
Gerald Seymour's script, based on his own novel, is certainly full of fast-paced action, but primary motivations of the characters are unclear. We never learn Jimmy's true reason for killing or drinking; he just does both with no reflection. More political analysis right from the beginning would
also have shored up the story's foundation. Racing between too many locales, THE GLORY BOYS has three editors, and it looks as if they each made their own cut and then haphazardly spliced them together. Performances are generally solid. Making the most of a rare good-guy lead, Perkins' Jimmy is
quirky and fun to watch, Steiger's resigned Sokarev suitably moving. But when protagonists seem to so randomly choose death over life, we are left with no glory. (Violence, alcohol abuse, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1984
- Rating: NR
- Review: Made for British television, THE GLORY BOYS shoots itself in the foot by relying too much on convoluted plot twists and not enough on character development. Arab terrorist Famy (Gary Brown) is bent on killing famed Israeli nuclear scientist Dr. David Soka… (more)