6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An interesting curate's egg,
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This review is from: The System [DVD] (DVD)The main reason I bought this was to see an early Reed starring movie, as my favourite one, The Jokers still hasn't come out on dvd. I vaguely remembered watching The System and thinking it was okay. Having just watched it again, as a film entertainment, I still think it is okay and no more really. However for social history observers, this film is a lot better than okay. It looks incredibly dated now, but its theme is very relevant to the era it was made in. It brings home probably even more than Alfie and Georgy Girl the conflict between sexual freedom and the natural desire to have something more meaningful, and it shows as much as A Kind of Loving or Saturday Night and Sunday Morning the dangers of sexual freedom in a society where having kids out of wedlock was a major no no. So, sociologically this film is quite fascinating. It looks quite quaint in places when it's obviously showing its most daring scenes, but these were more innocent times. For 1964 general release this really was daring.
Some of the director's more gimmicky touches, a sort of contempoary fashion for the jokey, flashy visual youth culturey scenes ala Richard Lester did make me wince, but that was the sort of film the studios wanted then (The Beatles have a lot to answer for). Reed's performance is quite interesting for fans of his, and you can't say the role doesn't suit him. There's definitely a larger than life quality to him already in this film, and a brooding presence. Although I'm very glad I bought it, as pure movie entertainment it is not brilliant, but alright, hence the lowish 3.5 star grading.