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McVicar (1980)

R | | Crime, Drama | August 1980 (UK)
'John McVicar' was a London Bad Boy. He graduated to armed bank robbery and was Britain's "Public Enemy No. 1". He was captured and put into a high security prison. Will even the highest ... See full summary »

Director:

Tom Clegg

Writers:

John McVicar (screenplay), Tom Clegg (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Daltrey ... John McVicar
Adam Faith ... Walter Probyn
Cheryl Campbell ... Sheila McVicar
Billy Murray ... Joey Davis
Georgina Hale ... Kate
Steven Berkoff ... Ronnie Harrison
Brian Hall ... Terry Stokes
Peter Jonfield Peter Jonfield ... Bobby Harris
Matthew Scurfield ... Streaky Jeffries
Leonard Gregory Leonard Gregory ... Jimmy Collins
Joe Turner Joe Turner ... Panda
Jeremy Blake Jeremy Blake ... Ronnie Johnson
Anthony Trent Anthony Trent ... Tate
Terence Stuart Terence Stuart ... Sid
Harry Fielder ... Harry Aitch
Edit

Storyline

'John McVicar' was a London Bad Boy. He graduated to armed bank robbery and was Britain's "Public Enemy No. 1". He was captured and put into a high security prison. Will even the highest security prison be able to hold him? This is the true story of his life, his criminal exploits and his eventual rehabilitation. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sentenced to 23 years-and he won't accept one day of it

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1980 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

МакВикар See more »

Filming Locations:

Ireland See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Polytel, The Who Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roger Daltrey performed a number of roles on this movie. Daltrey was the top-billed lead actor and star, a producer, a music consultant and a performer on the film's soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film a caption says that McVicar was arrested in 1970. This means that the action in the film took place in the late 1960s before his arrest. However throughout the film, in the street scenes, there are cars from a later date. This is most notable in a scene where the E-type Jag turns right, behind what appears to be a Mark IV Cortina - a late 1970s model. See more »

Quotes

John McVicar: Make sure you're not involved, woncha? Cos I'll put a tool right in your belly!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Comment in opening titles: "The prison escape shown in this film is based on true fact. Certain other events and characters have been fictionalised". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alan Meets Roger Daltrey (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

"Free Me'
Written by Russ Ballard
Performed by Roger Daltrey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Misfiring Biopic
5 August 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

A way back in the early 1980s word of mouth was spreading about a great and violent Brit flick ( In those days things were really grim for British film making unlike the late 1990s ) called MCVICAR the true story of armed robber John McVicar who was branded Britain's public enemy number one . I eventually got to see it on video in 1983 and was thoroughly disappointed by it

Some people may say that if there's any failings it's down to a rock star being cast ( I'll come to that in a moment ) but for me it's the story that's at fault or more specifically the way the story is told . John McVicar faces many years in prison and plans his escape . So in effect the audience are not watching a biopic of Britain's most feared criminal , we're watching a film not entirely different from COLDITZ or ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ . In fact this was produced round about the same time as the Eastwood star vehicle and I can't help thinking this had much to do with it being produced . Tellingly MCVICAR has three producers and three executive producers and one can't help thinking too many cooks have spoiled this prison broth . That's the problem too much prison and not enough meat in the broth

As for Roger Daltry's performance I know some people who think he absolutely ruined the movie but if memory serves me right ( I haven't seen this movie for several years ) while not exactly being an Oscar worthy performance I don't think he's as bad as some people claim . If I have a problem it's just that he comes across as over emphatic when he's nasty and can only really be described as poor when after having a tantrum in the hall picks up an orange and tries to act all cool . Is there anything more unconvincing than a man getting cool with an orange ?

The one other thing I remember after first viewing is how this managed to get a X certificate ( It's an old version of the 18 cert ) from the British Board Of Classifiers . No one is killed , there's no explicit sex though there is a lot of bad language . I guess that's because it deals with a real life British criminal and no one wants to be seen glorifying crime . John McVicar is still alive today and makes frequent television appearances . He's certainly comes across as friendly old gentlemen who's very much of the old school type of criminal , that is he had strict codes of not hurting women and kids and not turning stool pigeon . In days like these where the British legal establishment seems more interested in the rights of paedophiles and terrorists more than the rights of their victims you really do find yourself forgiving the sins of an armed robber very quickly


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