Directed by: Matthew Chapman
Stars: Helen Mirren, John Shea, Paul Angelis
Description: Beaty is a prostitute working out of a high-class London cabaret where Emory is a technician. They begin an affair encumbered by her job, his lack of money, and their pasts: Beaty has a ten-year-old son who lives with her ex, and she has a dangerous former boyfriend; Emory has a wife who died in questionable circumstances and a shady friend who shows up with a scheme for making lots of money. Beaty and Emory want to sort things out, but the odds are against them. Life is no cabaret.
Much underrated and sadly, little seen seedy gem. Low budget so lots of location shooting, always good, especially in London and if a little rough around the edges, all the better. Helen Mirren gives a gutsy and convincing performance in what is a surprisingly convincing glimpse of the sleazier side of late 70s London. She would play a rather more glossy version of the fancied girl on the edge of the underworld in the following year’s Long Good Friday but even in that fine film we do not see a finer performance than here. Matthew Chapman does well with his limited funds and gets decent performances from everyone including the child and surely one of the most menacing bad guys in cinema. Paul Angelis, who worked mainly in TV but famously voiced parts for Yellow Submarine, switches deftly between friendly and fearsome as a psychotic criminal strong man and coming between the two main protagonists. Solid script, competent direction, great performances and wonderful settings make this an essential view.