Sunday, 26 June 2011

Smashing Onto the Big Screen

‘The Sweeney’ was one of the most popular and highest rated UK television shows of the 1970’s. Gritty and realistic (and often very funny), it broke from tradition by featuring policemen who were only too human: driven, hard living, tough, prejudiced - and apt to bend the rules to get the result they needed. The villains were equally unglamorous, vicious people as committed to their life of crime as the Flying Squad were determined to stopping them.

Such was its popularity that the producers paused the show between the third and fourth series to make two film spin offs, the imaginatively titled ‘Sweeney!’ and ‘Sweeney 2’. The films closely followed the TV formula (with the exception of some continuity errors), but were noticeably more graphic, with levels of violence and nudity they couldn’t have got away with on the small screen. They’re pretty good, ‘Sweeney 2’ in particular, which features a gang of violent ‘blaggers’ who rob banks to fund an idyllic lifestyle in Malta, only to slowly come undone when they stray onto the patch of the dogged and equally ruthless Jack Regan and his lads.  

Happily, you can get both films on one handy disc and, while you’re at it, why not treat yourself to the box set of the complete TV series? I mean, what else were you going to spend that thirty quid on, slag?

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