Monday, 23 May 2011

Pictures Of New Towns

We're back in Bracknell new town for a look at some of the locations used in the 1972 film 'The Offence'.

The film is a pretty powerful psychodrama about a veteran police officer (Sean Connery) who has seen too many horrors and broken too many rules and no longer feels a distance between himself and the criminals he pursues. When he interrogates a suspect in a child rape case, his self-loathing boils over into sudden and fatal violence. It's a very dark film, and I'll come back to it when I gather the nerve.

Here's Bracknell by day, specifically the Wild Ridings estate. It looks pretty bleak, but then it's supposed to. Clearly under construction, I doubt it's quite as spacious and under-populated these days as it was in 1972.

Here's Bracknell by night, an even grimmer proposition. Apart from the Police, the civic centre seems entirely populated by snitches, drunks and paedophiles. I can't imagine this did anything for Bracknell's public image, although snitches, drunks and paedophiles might have thought it their kind of town.

Roy from 'I Want What I Want' worked in an office up there somewhere, poor devil. No wonder he was so confused.

If you're ever troubled by anyone running on about flares and Aztec bars and how much bloody fun the seventies were I would strongly suggest showing them 'The Offence' and asking them to point out just where the 'fun' elements are in this production. The cold, empty streets? The constant threat of violence and perversion? The lonely cinema showing 'Please Sir'?


  1. A great film, and certainly a very bleak one.
    Connery's flashbacks to the many horrors he's witnessed during his years on the force are the stuff of nightmares.
    I can still picture Ian Bannen's creepy, blood-smeared grin.

  2. God, is there a bit right at or near the beginning where Connery investigates a deserted house and comes across LOTS OF BLOOD? We see him from a very low perspective - possibly from the victim's eye-view - as he turns to puke. IS there? Cos I have a clear memory of watching that bit as a nipper, and having to turn over very quickly. It stuck with me for a long time afterwards.