Despite the boast of being 'filmed in location on the NorthWest Frontier and in Pakistan,' it's painfully obvious that none of the cast of Conduct Unbecoming ever got nearer to the NorthWest Frontier than the Shepperton Taste of Moghul Tandoori restaurant during their lunch break, with location filming clearly being limited to the director and a second unit shooting a few stock shots of cavalry and trains. With most of the money going on the impressive cast (Richard Attenborough, Christopher Plummer, Trevor Howard, James Donald and Stacey Keach in the days when he was still allowed into the UK without being detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure among them), the cutaways and resulting back-projection work are particularly poor, so it's a relief that this surprisingly gripping courtroom mystery spends most of its running time indoors as young officer Michael York reluctantly has to defend James Faulkner's black sheep of a distinguished family from a charge of assaulting Susannah York's widow of a regimental hero. As this is a matter of honour, to protect the good name of the regiment the case is heard by an unofficial 'Subaltern's Court Martial,' with the idealistic defender having it made clear that he's expected to just go through the motions by both the foreman and his own client: naturally, he does nothing of the sort, uncovering a nest of vipers and threatening to destroy his own career in the process. This adaptation of the kind of drama that used to be derisively called 'the well-made play' probably looked old-fashioned in 1976, but that tends to work in its favour today when being relevant isn't quite so important. It's no classic, but it is an entertaining way to pass a couple of hours.
It's just a shame that the UK DVD, inaccurately labelled as `remastered widescreen,' is in fact a highly variable fullscreen transfer, although it does include a good selection of extras, including commentaries by director Michael Anderson and Michael York, stills montage and original theatrical trailer.