1972, Douglas Hickox, 92 mins.
A convict escapes to get revenge on his unfaithful wife.
Sitting Target is a violent, grim, and compelling thriller which offers a sensational performance from Oliver Reed as an escaped convict obsessed with getting revenge on his cheating wife. Reed was always a powerful actor but here he turns the intensity up to eleven and keeps you compelled even while you’re appalled at his brutality. He’s well supported by Ian McShane as his more cheerful accomplice and there are effective cameo turns from a typically colourful Freddie Jones, Frank Finlay, and Edward Woodward as the copper on the case. The London locations are a delight and there’s one particularly good chase through the sheets and knickers of some tower block washing lines. It’s dated in some respects, particularly a lot of casual misogyny which sees the women uniformally treated like dirt. But it’s constantly riveting with an effective plot twist.