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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
I first saw this magnificent film years ago. The acting story and plot simply blew me away it was that good. I sat and watched it throughout with no distractions nor breaks.

Peter O'Toole is magnificent as the Upper Class hero who seeks revenge for his fiancée's cruel death due to the Nazis. His revenge? To assassinate Hitler.

As we all know he didn't succeed and here the story sets off on a cracking pace. Tortured by the Nazis (I won't give details!) He escapes and thanks to a WW1 German ex POW who respected the British he gets back to England. But here the plot twist even further, Britain is not at war with the Germans you see the Aristo's have more German cousins than even Queen Victoria had! So he is on his own!
Soon framed he goes on the run. The Nazis seek to kill our hero so he goes to ground in England.
Now imagine hiding yourself in rural England so no one knows you are there? A top English Lord/ Nazi agent is set to find him and does so. Here

I won't spoil the plot but I was in tears at one incident!! And cheered at another.

This is the only film that I have seen that is better than the Geoffrey Household book. O'Toole is simply magnificent and I believe this to be better than his Lawrence portrayal (some praise indeed).

The ending on the film comes with regret that such a great film could go on for longer rather than some of today's offerings where the finish is a relief. I guarantee you will enjoy this film and it will stay with you a long time.

Worth a chance?
Yes.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2007
This adaptation of the Geoffrey Houshold novel of a failed assassination attempt on Hitler started life as a short series on the BBC in the mid seventies. I didn't remember much about it except that I enjoyed it at the time and decided that the DVD was worth a spin. The DVD is the series episodes strung into a film of roughly 1 hour 40 mins, I don't know how much (if any) of the series has been left out, but it certainly seems to be complete.

The story is interesting, well paced and well acted. Fortunately for the BBC it doesn't require a cast of thousands or wildebeast sweeping majestically across the plains and adapts well for the small screen. Frederick Raphaels screenplay is excellent and keeps to the spirit of Housholds book leaving it intact in what is a relatively a short film.

O'Toole recently said that this was probably his favourite performance. I don't know if it's his best, but he does portray the upper class English assassin rather well.

My copy of the DVD (which has a different cover picture to the one above but is region 1) has little of any worth in the special features department. It also claims to have been fully restored and digitally remastered. If that's the case, either the original must have been in the most dire condition or the person remastering must have been pissed, because the sound is muffled in parts, the colour comes and goes, sometimes taking some rather odd blue green casts and there are spots and other blemishes on the film.

Finally, the DVD biography of O'Toole says that he died in 2003 after a long illness. I'm assuming he's still alive at the time of writing as he made a number of films in 2006 including the excellent Venus :-)

Why can't the BBC do a proper restoration for DVD?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
There are a few things that make Rogue Male fairly unsuitable for film adaptation - such as the claustrophic final act and the fact that the plot revelations that draw the whole thing together come right at the end. Taking that into account, Clive Donner's adaptation is as good as you could ask for, and much better than I'd dared hope it would be.

It's a while since I've read the book, but as far as could remember they've been remarkably faithful, and not only is the unusual end intact, it actually succeeds as a tense and exciting finale. The biggest change is probably revealing the protagonist's target and motivation early on, but I can see why they felt the need to do this - ambiguity that works fine in a book would probably just be frustrating in a film. The cast are uniformly excellent, and it's hard to imagine a better incarnation of Household's embittered uppercrust hero than the one O'Toole offers here. I can't see anyone who's a fan of the book being disappointed, but having read it is hardly a prerequisite - either way Rogue Male makes for a cracking, thought-provoking thriller.

One slight problem worth mentioning though: the print quality is not at all good. I imagine this is partly because it was shot for TV in the first place, but it's a shame that nothing's been done to improve it. It would be fantastic to see a proper DVD release with a cleaned-up print and, heck, maybe even some extras. And of course it's Region 1 only, and no use if you don't have a Region 1 supporting player.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
First saw this magnificent film years ago. The acting story and plot simply blew me away it was that good. I sat and watched it throughout with no distractions nor breaks.

Peter O'Toole is magnificent as the Upper Class hero who seeks revenge for his fiancée's cruel death due to the Nazis. His revenge? To assassinate Hitler.
As we all know he didn't succeed and here the story sets off on a cracking pace. Tortured by the Nazis (I won't give details!) He escapes and thanks to a WW1 German ex POW who respected the British he gets back to England. But here the plot twist even further, Britain is not at war with the Germans you see the Aristo's have more German cousins than even Queen Victoria had! So he is on his own!
Soon framed he goes on the run. The Nazis seek to kill our hero so he goes to ground in England.

Now imagine hiding yourself in rural England so no one knows you are there? A top English Lord/ Nazi agent is set to find him and does so. Here I won't spoil the plot but I was in tears at one incident!! And cheered at another.

This is the only film that I have seen that is better than the Geoffrey Household book. O'Toole is simply magnificent and I believe this to be better than his Lawrence portrayal (some praise indeed). The ending on the film comes with regret that such a great film could go on for longer rather than some of today's offerings where the finish is a relief.

I guarantee you will enjoy this film and it will stay with you a long time.

Worth a chance?
Yes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nostalgia time - I remember watching this on New Year's Eve 1976. Peter O'Toole's recent passing and the revelation of his passion for Geoffrey Household's claustrophobic 1930s thriller, made me dig out this DVD. It seems not to be one of O'Toole's better works, or compared to many of the classic WW2 TV dramas of TVs golden age (Colditz for example). The adaptation is pretty pedestrian and it's difficult to overcome the basic "suspend my disbelief" conundrum - how does a world-class big game hunter and survivalist get stuck in a hole in Dorset, and how on earth do his Nazi pursuers keep up and locate him, only to get kebabbed by the crudest assault imaginable?

The book is superb, the regularly repeated Radio 4 extra reading by Michael Jayston comes up fresh as paint every time, so this is a production with curiosity value for RM aficionados only, I'd say. Oh and for gents of my vintage, it offers some fleeting sightings of the gorgeous Cyd Hayman, as the rogue male's lost love, which as I've carried a torch for the lovely Cyd since her appearance in another 1970s WWII classic drama "Manhunt", is some compensation.
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on 7 February 2014
After having read 'Rogue Male' book - I didn't expect the movie to meet the same criteria (as is always the case in books made into films) ..but as far as this film goes -unless you've read the book you wouldn't understand what the 'real' story was!!
Just on one point alone -In the film it shows "an image" of a certain high authority German figure which is about to be assassinated, and in the book you read about a certain high German authority figure that is about to be assassinated but says nothing about whom it is which makes the story more intriguing.
The story is fantastic but the movie cover is rated "3" from me only as Peter O'toole is in it.
MARK
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2011
I was looking forward to this film, having read other reviews. Unfortunately I could not get past the picture quality. It is poor and grainy, worse than an old VHS tape, and only just watchable. Such a shame because the storyline is quite interesting, and I suspect the book is a good read. Unfortunately the direction of the film limits the impact of the story. It's too long, feels a little far fetched, and is not so good on detail - some of the cars are post war (the story is set pre-war), Hitler looks a little 'plummy', and our hero's raison d'etre is less than clear.
On the positives, Peter O'Toole carries the film, and the other actors - mostly very familiar British faces from the 70s, are good value.....and the film does play on uk dvd players, it must be region free. It is also very inexpensive.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2007
Nearly as good as BBC's Edge of Darkness shown around a decade later but it was written during a different generation. Read the book first and you will be amazed how closely the characters and scenery match up to one's imagination. Brilliant but remember that the BBC, in the late 70s, was skint! What a story!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2008
Actually, I read the book before I saw the film and was even more enthralled and glad that I did. Fantastic plot - did it really happen??

Just brilliant, buy both, a "real action" film and highly plausible too.
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on 25 February 2015
As usual the case the book was better than the film but still very enjoyable.
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