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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and punishing true tale of 1960's Scottish gangster.
Absolutely uncompromising "tough as nails" 1979 gangster film about real life Scottish hoodlum Jimmy Boyle, is a real sleeper, but well worth seeking out !! Directed by talented UK director John Mackenzie, I think "A Sense of Freedom" was somewhat overshadowed by Mackenzie's equally impressive and more highly publicised film "The Long Good Friday" released the following...
Published on 17 Feb. 2004 by P. Ferrigno

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Boyle dvd
Why oh why did they clean up the accents and language? Ruined it! Leave well alone, Glasgow gangsters do not have polite accents!
Published on 16 Jan. 2013 by james layden


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and punishing true tale of 1960's Scottish gangster., 17 Feb. 2004
By 
P. Ferrigno "firehouse444" (Melbourne, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
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Absolutely uncompromising "tough as nails" 1979 gangster film about real life Scottish hoodlum Jimmy Boyle, is a real sleeper, but well worth seeking out !! Directed by talented UK director John Mackenzie, I think "A Sense of Freedom" was somewhat overshadowed by Mackenzie's equally impressive and more highly publicised film "The Long Good Friday" released the following year.
Mackenzie deserves a pat on the back for giving the British crime cinema a well deserved double shot of testosterone, at a time when it was fairly dormant.
Dynamic actor, David Hayman is simply sensational as the anti-social & violent Jimmy Boyle. Boyle and his gang are running protection & money lending rackets in Glasgow in the 1960's and falling foul of the law every step of the way. Boyle is convicted for a heinous crime and sent inside the Scottish prison system where he declares a brutal war on the guards & administration of each prison. However, Boyle begins to take stock of the damage & futility of his hostile actions, and the film then takes a surprising turn !!
"A Sense of Freedom" certainly won't be for everyone's tastes as there are numerous violent confrontations, and in one scene, Boyle takes to "decorating" his cell in a most disgusting manner. However, those film fans looking for a first class prison drama, with a believable cast, that really delivers the goods will not be disappointed.
I'm so glad to see this film finally out on DVD, as I think my 20 year old VHS copy is just about worn out ! Most definitely a "must have" addition to your library of crime films....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Boyle dvd, 16 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: A Sense Of Freedom [DVD] [1984] (DVD)
Why oh why did they clean up the accents and language? Ruined it! Leave well alone, Glasgow gangsters do not have polite accents!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sobering and powerful, 12 Dec. 2004
By 
Peter Fenelon - See all my reviews
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A fairly faithful adaptation of Jimmy Boyle's autobiography - or at least the second half of it. This is essentially the story of Boyle's life of crime as a "hard man" (although we miss out on the extensive description of his childhood in the Gorbals) and the Scottish prison system's attempt to tame him. Ironically, Boyle was imprisoned for life for a crime he probably didn't commit... although he walked free from many he did...
Prison after prison fails to break Boyle's spirit; the physical beatings he received and the isolation to which he was subjected served to turn his mind inwards and focus his hatred.
Before too long, Boyle was too dangerous for any prison to handle; the only solution being to transfer him to the "Special Unit" at Barlinnie where instead of trying to break prisoners down by force - or by drugs - the emphasis was on trying to rehabilitate violent criminals.
The film ends with Jimmy's transfer to Barlinnie, where Boyle discovered his affinity for art and started the transformation that saw him become an acclaimed sculptor.
David Hayman's performance as Boyle in this film is powerful and subtle - he's a "hard man" who wants no part of any system, a man trying to come to terms with the animal in himself and with the degradation around him. It's a visceral, physically courageous performance.
The DVD transfer of the film itself is pretty poor - colour and sound are somewhat murky. However, the DVD is accompanied by an excellent documentary about Boyle's new life, and his use of sculpture as a measns of therapy for other long-term prisoners.
Sobering, powerful and highly watchable.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dubbed version, 17 Jan. 2007
This review is from: A Sense Of Freedom [DVD] [1984] (DVD)
This is a 5 star plus film but this 2006 dvd version

is dubbed all they had to do was subtitle it for non

scottish people to understand but no they took the whole

glasgow accent/ voices away and put voices that speak clearly

and not from glasgow for sure it ruins a great film

even the cockney prison officer has a weird cockney accent

apart from that a top notch film i will get rid of mine

and get the 2004 dvd one and I'm quite sure their are lots of cuts in it too

saying that if you haven't seen it and your not into accents and original films then you have a great film for pennies

ha ha imaging they dubbed a SCOTTISH film with English dubbing

we'd understand if it was french or chinese (yet they usually get subtitled) but no this is a brit film dubbed for english speakers

Crazy bet its the only film ever so far to have that done to it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ., 24 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: A Sense Of Freedom [DVD] [1984] (DVD)
must have miss read info as dvd is in german, you can change to english but bit of a pain. wouldn't recommend
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Original "Wee Man", 24 April 2014
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A facsinating insight into the mind of one of Scotland's most notorious criminals and his journey into redemption. As Jimmy Boyle has disappeared from the national psychie so the film ,made in 1979, might seem to end a bit abruptly to a modern audience who may not be as familour with Boyle's story. However the film is accompanied by an excellent documentery which includes interviews with the self exciled Boyle showing how he has successfully turned his life around.
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5.0 out of 5 stars TOUGH AND GRITTY., 7 July 2012
This review is from: A Sense Of Freedom [DVD] [1984] (DVD)
From the brutal Glasgow underwold to the Harsh regime of Barlinnie Prison a made for tv film based on the autobiography of Scottish money lender Jimmy Boyle.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 26 Jun. 2011
This review is from: A Sense Of Freedom [DVD] [1984] (DVD)
I first saw this movie in 1985 and have not been able to purchase in Australia then I found it on Amazon and bought it. It arrived 2 weeks after I ordered it and I have watched it about 4 times,( would have been more but I had to go to Europe ). I am impressed with the service and performance of Amazon UK and would highly reccomend them to anyone
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4.0 out of 5 stars as expected, 16 Feb. 2014
By 
Carol J. Hibbert (bridgend, south wales) - See all my reviews
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bought this as a gift for my son, so can't comment on quality, hence the four stars. Case looked good, good price for quite a rare film so well pleased.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sense of freedom, 13 Jan. 2005
This is and always was a powerful film, great scottish actors and scenery.My only gripe was the wattered down Glasgow Dialect, I saw the original film back in 79 when the accents were left alone so this version was somewhat spoiled for me.
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