The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Edward Woodward

Edward Woodward

This is a shot of the English actor Edward Woodward from the 1974 made-for-television film Callan, in which he played a reluctant and conscience-bound professional killer for a shadowy branch of the British Government’s intelligence services known as “the Section.” It’s all a bit cheesy, of course, and very typical of the time, a spy film without any real drama and intrigue. One needed Michael Caine for that. Nevertheless, the guy intrigued me. I couldn’t remember where I’d seen him before and then realized it was in Breaker Morant, where he played the chief defendant in a kangaroo court the British arranged for some Aussies during the Second Boar War. By the way, Breaker Morant is a must-see film. It’s one of those epic stories that stays with you the rest of your life. Interestingly, I first saw it on a Betamax machine. I figured the best horse would win, but, of course, it never does. Lobbying, advertising, and bribery in the right places always wins in the end.