View Full Version : Handgun, aka, Deep in the Heart (1983)
03-23-2009, 07:20 PM
Never heard of this film but it looks very interesting and in the same vein as MS. 45.
Anyone else ever heard of it or seen it? Thoughts? Thanks.
03-23-2009, 07:55 PM
I watched this film on VHS many years ago. It’s a fairly absorbing drama/character study, certainly not a revenge melodrama like MS 45.
The theme of the film – the whole point of it really – is the supposed baseness of redneck culture. Though filmed in Texas, this is a British film (the writer-director is a former associate of Ken Loach) that drips with disdain at the values of rural American folk, which are here exemplified as guns, religion, and machismo. The original title, DEEP IN THE HEART, suggests as much.
The movie is well-made and compelling, but I found it deeply condescending and prejudicial.
As a footnote, I find it hilarious that the monstersatplay reviewer thought that the film's presentation of guns made it seem like a pro-NRA commercial. He clearly doesn't understand irony.
03-23-2009, 08:24 PM
certainly not a revenge melodrama like MS 45.
That's too bad. I had read some entries that said it was along the lines of MS. 45 or THEY CALL HER ONE EYE.
Nevermind then :)
03-23-2009, 10:39 PM
A little shot of excitement went up my spine when I saw this thread. This is one of those little-seen movies you never expect anyone to be talking about -- even here where obscure stuff gets it's due every day.
I don't agree with a lot of Jeffrey's complaints, although he is right that the movie does deal in stereotypes. Maybe that's one of the reasons I really enjoyed this movie, actually....
No, it's not anywhere near as exploitational as MS. 45 or THEY CALL HER ONE EYE (haha what is?) but it is def along the same rape/revenge lines plotwise, and it's underrated as hell. Plus: Karen Young was just fantastic in the lead role -- her very first.
Would make a great double-bill with LIPSTICK, or EXTREMITIES.
03-23-2009, 11:17 PM
I was just talking about this film with a friend of mine a week or two ago. I've never seen it, but my friend had watched it the night before and thought it was terrific. He asked me if it had been sold as an exploitation movie when it was (barely) released. Sort of. The old Thorn EMI tape (as DEEP IN THE HEART) made it look like just another rape revenge flick of the day, but the initial theatrical release in the U.S. -- from Warner Brothers! -- was classier. I can't find the ad I know I had at one time (maybe Fred can post his) but when this opened in one theater in N.Y.C. in early 1984 as DEEP IN THE HEART the ads were a close-up of a woman's hand with the barrel of a gun as the index finger.
03-24-2009, 06:40 AM
Seen it a couple of times and somewhere I have the UK VHS. As has been said it's a serious rather than exploitation film. On the other hand it's a more commercial film than might have been expected by people only familiar with director Tony Garnett's previous work as a producer at the BBC. Some might argue it falls between two stools. My recollection is that it held my attention but didn't particularly excite me.
Garnett is an interesting figure - in the 60s and 70s he was a producer at the BBC for a lot of very highly thought of single plays and play series. Best remembered for his work with Ken Loach (including Cathy Come Home, Up The Junction (the TV version), Kes, In Two Minds (and the film version of it Family Life), Days of Hope), but he also produced early TV plays by Dennis Potter and David Mercer. His first BBC career culminated in 1978 with Law and Order a very hard hitting and controversial series of plays about the criminal justice system. However in the middle of this period he had also co-produced Romolo Guerrieri's The Sweet Body of Deborah and the offbeat documentary The Body, in hindsight indicating that he was also interested in more commercial projects. Moving into features he directed Prostitute and Handgun, and produced the (imo) awful Earth Girls are Easy, before returning to TV as producer on a number of very successful and fondly regarded UK series.
03-24-2009, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the info everyone. This may be a film to look for down the road.
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