In the third—and arguably greatest—of Lumet’s five collaborations with Sean Connery, the actor gives a revelatory performance as a burned-out British detective on a task force searching for an accused child molester.
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The prospect of seeing one of my favourites, a hugely underrated British actor, was enticement enough for me to watch this (but enough about Trevor Howard). Connery is electric here as the epitome of dodgy '70s British policing methods, but Bannen's performance matches him in his gloating annunciation of the cop's unspoken desires. Fisher's masterful camera work expresses a declining Britain of soulless concrete.
A cold and desperate look at Britain's police by the New-Yorker Sidney Lumet. Sean Connery, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, reminds us he could have been a great actor. Complex editing that scared distributors, hence a magistral flop when it was theatrically released. Masterpiece.
From "12 angry men" to "Before the devil knows you're dead", Lumet never goes for the easy solution when it gets to human emotions. It's dark, complex, contradictory sometimes, but very very powerful. The whole scene with Baxter is simply amazing. I never saw Sean Connery playing such an intense part.
Interesting but uneven. Lumet crafts some effective scenes, and there's a lot of strong atmosphere, but it gets off to an extremely slow start, and remains awkwardly-paced throughout. Sean Connery gives a superb performance in one of his most complex roles, and his scenes with Trevor Howard and Ian Bannen do reach a compelling intensity, but overall the film is just too uneven to be considered any kind of classic.
Impressive work of Sean Connery as Detective Sgt. Johnson, resisting in front of colleagues and in his private life not to spill the cesspool inside his head. The immersion in this man's shattered mind reminded me vaguely of Guy de Maupassant's short story "Diary of a Madman".
What starts off like a gritty,British police procedure film.Is in fact,a very dark and unsettling account of a police detectives fall,into the pit of depravity and madness.Connery superbly plays a policeman,who has seen the worst of mankind and can't get it out of his head.So much so,that the line between himself and a possible child molester,has blurred into nothingness.Terrific cast and use of architecture/music.
Sean Connery shakes off his chauvinistic charm & bravado as Bond to give a career best performance in The Offence. Embittered, delusional & on the cusp of a breakdown, Connery is a police detective battling as much with himself as the law. Connery is impressively sympathetic & deplorable in equal measure; his scene with Ian Bannen is amazing drama. One of director Lumet lesser known films, but still one of his best.
Some great camerawork, atmospheric music and probably Sean Connery's best performance ever, as a policeman that has finally gone mad because of all the things he's seen, make this an extraordinary film.