13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not bad at all!,
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This review is from: Two a Penny [DVD]  (DVD)
For someone who never had any formal training as an actor / singer, Cliff puts in a decent performance in this little-known, late 60s gem. He'd already been in a few other films by this time (Expresso Bongo, Summer Holiday and some other film which I haven't seen yet - the title of which escapes me). This film, "Two a Penny" is by far the most interesting out of all the Cliff films I have seen. I actually quite like it - and no I'm not a die-hard Cliff fan!
I was particularly interested in seeing "Two a Penny" to see how realistically Cliff plays the role of "bad guy" Jamie Hopkins, who is involved in theft, drug deals, violence and, almost, attempted rape. This type of character seems so remote from "Cliff" it must surely need some real acting? I would be lying if I said I found his portrayal totally convincing - there are moments in the film where he tries too consciously to sound more working-class, and this seems slightly at odds with his middle-class "Cliffiness" which shines through. Compare the way Jamie speaks to the way his mother (excellently played by Dora Bryan) speaks and you will notice a class inconsistency that is slightly too wide.
Though at times a little theatrical, Cliff's acting is far from hammy. He was a very good-looking guy with presence and a very distinctive voice, and I can imagine at the time would have made him a real hearthrob. It is easy to see why Cliff, like the protagonist he plays, is not "Two a Penny." The character of Jamie Hopkins is essentially a lovable rogue, a cocky, colourful cad who aspires to higher things in life. Cliff portrays him very well, perhaps due to the fact that he shares the character's ambition???
It's important to judge films in the context of the era in which they are made, and, for its time, "Two a Penny" is quite innovative, daring even, in some of the storylines and issues it raises. It is very "new wave" and evokes the exciting mood of central London in the swinging 60s.
All in all this is a great little film that I am pleased to have in my collection. One thing I particularly like about this film is that there is no huge moment where the bad guy suddenly sees the light and turns into a saint. Jamie gets more or less disowned by his mother, and appears to START to repent his ways.....or does he? Watch it and decide for yourself!