Ninety Degrees in the Shade

1965

Crime / Drama / Thriller

127
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 117

Synopsis


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November 2, 2019

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
775.43 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
90 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.39 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
90 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by FilmFlaneur 8 / 10 / 10

The Shop Around the Corner with adult themes.

90 Degrees is a strange, if excellent little film which sees Zulu's James Booth appear in what could easily be a work from the Czech new wave, and indeed some viewers might find the British accents of the cast (some apparently dubbed, some not) a little disconcerting in the context, although it is done well. It's a modestly scaled tale which is by turn sexual, claustrophobic, and tragic, a title pretty obscure these days but which ought never the less to be better known as it rarely takes a foot wrong. Although Booth looks a little out of place in his European environment, he turns in a characteristically chippy performance as the scoundrel womaniser Vorell, but he is almost upstaged by the dour inspector Kurka (Rudolf Hrusinsky), whose humourlessness is surely inspired by that of contemporary communist functionaries, as well as the performance of Anne Heywood as the doomed Alena. The 90 degrees of the title of course refers to more than just the sweltering heat of the year, it also invokes the sexual tensions which run throughout the film (most notably in the 'coffee wiping' stock room scene near the beginning). Vorell and Alena, as well as Kurka and his wife, are essentially two aspects of the same game; ultimately Vorell's replacement of tea-filled liquor bottles in the stockroom is a much a betrayal of empathy as is Kurka's replacement of marital warmth back at home with the coldness of duty. Down the cast list is Donald Wolfitt, no barnstorming from him here though, and one eventually wonders why he accepted such a supporting role. In some ways this is The Shop Around the Corner but a year after and with adult themes. Those familiar with Prague will also relish the backgrounds. Altogether this can be highly recommended as a forgotten bywater of British cinema. There is some fleeting nudity.

Reviewed by trimmerb1234 7 / 10 / 10

The power of love

Now 51 years old, it nevertheless stands up well. The story is clear at one level at least. A zealous and incorruptible auditor (presumably working in a Czech government department) discovers discrepancies in a shop's stock of (expensive imported) spirits amounting to in current terms to perhaps tens of thousands of Pounds. It is for him a very serious matter, and despite attempts by his supervisor to persuade him otherwise, he insists that an example needs to be made of whoever is responsible. (His incorruptibility and devotion to duty is made clear in the coffee spilling incident). James Booth (the shop manager) reprises the character he played in Zulu - but minus any redeeming features. The auditor's actions set in motion an almost inevitable - given the characters - tragic sequence of events. His punctilious bureaucratic existence is for the first time halted in its tracks by the realisation that he has witnessed an altogether more serious crime - hideous villainy that demands justice. The extremely impassive performance of the auditor is effective in forcing the audience to imagine his inner feeling as we understand something of his unhappy marriage and the effect of proximity to a most lovely (Anne Heywood) and loving - and wronged - woman. That he resembles a typical East European official of those times is undermined by his avuncular and entirely human older junior (well played by Donald Wolfitt). On that subject, given the politics of those times, one wonders if a larger point is being made by the film - is it allegorical? One supposes so but that would have been more evident at the time of making than it is now. But as an unusual British film apparently shot entirely on location (in Prague) and a well played tragic human story, it deserves wider viewing. The dubbing is rather distracting - the cast is mixed British and Czech. The frequent flashbacks too seem rather clunky. Perhaps these are some of things film makers progressed beyond since 1965 Many thanks - once again - to Talking Pictures for unearthing this worthy, very watchable but almost unseen British film. They put other channels to shame.

Reviewed by MOscarbradley 7 / 10 / 10

Strangely compelling

A genuine oddity. This Raymond Stross produced/Jiri Weiss directed British/Czech co-production disappeared almost before it was released despite being nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Foreign Film in the English Language. It was written by David Mercer, set and filmed in Prague with a British and Czech cast, all of whom were dubbed. Anne Heywood is the assistant manager of a shop who is having an affair with her married boss, (a miscast James Booth), while helping him steal from their employers. Things come to a head when an auditor, who fancies Heywood, starts snooping around. He is played by Rudolf Hrusinsky, one of the Czech actors in a cast that also includes Ann Todd and Donald Wolfit. It's superbly shot in black and white by Bedrich Batka with a terrific jazz score by Ludek Hulan. Though fundamentally 'British' it looks and feels like something from the Czech New Wave and had it been made entirely in Czech, rather than very stilted English, its critical reputation might have been much higher. As it is, it's a strange, compelling picture ripe for rediscovery.

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