1971, Michael Tuchner, 94 mins.
A mother-fixated gangster is involved in a disastrous robbery.
Although ostensibly a gangster movie, Villain is actually most interesting as a state of the nation film which portrays Britain in the early seventies as a country going rapidly down the drain. Nothing works properly, the system is corrupt, sex is degrading and you can’t even pull off a decent payroll robbery because the unions are going out on strike. Richard Burton is pretty good as Vic Dakin, the villain of the title - clearly based on a combination of Reggie Kray and Cagney in White Heat – and Nigel Davenport is splendid as his nemesis, the only honest copper in the Met. The location filming is fantastic, especially a botched heist on a Bracknell factory, and the cast is packed with familiar faces, ranging from Donald Sinden to James Cossins. Not quite on a par with Get Carter but close.