The Bofors Gun

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John McGrath's television play The Bofors Gun was expanded (if not improved) by this film adaptation. The time is 1954: a weak-willed British corporal (David Warner) desperately wants to improve his lot in the National Service by taking the officer's entrance course. A rebellious, sociopathic Irish private (Nicol Williamson) takes a dislike to the corporal. He hopes to humiliate the would-be officer and to this end commits suicide while the corporal is guarding him. The character motivations in The Bofors Gun might be lost on anyone who lacks intimate knowledge of the turbulent Irish/British relationships of the era, but the characters themselves are easily recognizable types. One problem: Who is there to root for in this squalid tale? ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


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