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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
69
The Killing Of Sister George [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£15.99+ £1.26 shipping


on 23 August 2015
A landmark for queer cinema in the 1960's thanks to the brilliance of director Robert Aldrich (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, The Dirty Dozen) and the excellent performance by Beryl Reid as the hard-boiled but sympathetic lesbian June Buckridge AKA "Sister George" and her love/hate relationship with her partner Alice "Childie" McNaught (Suzannah York). Sister George refers to the character June plays in a soap opera on television and discovers the character is going to be killed off. The story unravels as a tragedy as June's drunkenness, misbehavior and inability to conduct herself in public means her getting fired and losing her partner by the woman who fired her, Studio Executive and seductress Mercy Croft (Coral Browne)
Without a shadow of a doubt, this film was way ahead of its time (made in 1968) including the word "lesbian" itself in the dialogue and "dyke" was considered abominable at the time, and the films infamous sex scene between Browne and York which gave the film an X rating at the time of it's release. Feminists and lesbians found the film sexist and stereotypical as the character of June (Reid) is a hard-boiled, cigar-smoking, masculine dyke who shouts and screams all the time. When in fact it gives a positive look at both women and lesbians as it shows June as a more intimidating person that any man in the film (and they're aren't many) in a time of patriarchal superiority. Last note, there are many moving and loving scenes in the film which people didn't consider to look at twice, such as the Gateways Club sequence (daring for the time again, because it was filmed on location, and the club was a well-known gay/lesbian bar) seeing ordinary people (not actors) dancing lovingly to the slow music, without the director making a statement of it and making it look as natural as a heterosexual couple dancing in the club.

A landmark film which should be treasured always, a must see for any film fanatic as it is a fascinating slice of film history from a fantastic director and cast, one of my personal favorite's and one of the most under-rated films I know.
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on 8 May 2012
Seeing Beryl Reid mouth silently a four-letter swear word when such things didn't happen in films and drunkenly canoodling with two young nuns in the back of a London cab is both quite outstanding and rather loveable.

Miss Reid, who I only got to see in my childhood as a twee, granny-like innocent (the sort that she plays for real in a TV serial as Sister George, a homely district nurse), I found The Killing Of... both delicious and ever astounding in its frankness and of her rather warped relationship with the much younger Susannah York.

Warped, not because of the age difference, nor of their same-sex partnership, but because June Buckridge (Reid) has a cruel streak that is borne out by her playing sadistic mind games with Alice "Childie" (York).

Sister George, in the best tradition of TV soaps, is being killed off, to make way for an Australian replacement. Hence June's venomous outpourings and increasingly erratic behaviour.

Equally interesting is the London of the late '60s, both in its landmarks but also its people and fashions, whether that's in how they live and/or how they dress and present themselves.

Though real soaps cover such material freely and openly these days, 42 years ago, it must have been a very different kettle of fish. Lesbianism back in those days was not only considered immoral but also a mental aberration and had to be so hidden, in an attempt to prove to those 'righteous' souls that it did not exist. Therefore, it must have been a very brave undertaking as a film, though it originated as a play, written by Frank Marcus.

Having now seen it again, I consider Robert Aldrich's ground-breaking film to be a bit of a classic and one, which, no doubt I'll want to see again in a few years time. It really is a piece of British cinematic history.
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on 28 February 2015
Wow. Horrible Beryl Reid. Absolutely loved this film. Hard hitting, unsentimental drama in which Sister George, such a charming, helpful, sweet lady vicar in a soap series, is played by an aged, hard drinking, frank and rude Beryl Reid, The classic case of the actor not necessarily being the same as the role they play. Beryl Reid is monstrous and shares her modest flat with her young lover, Susannah York, but we see them at a time when their relationship is breaking down. After caring for Susannah for a number of years, the little girl has grown up and starts to seek her own life among young people. In the meantime, Sister George is being written out of the series so Beryl Reid becomes more and more bitter, angry and frustrated to learn of her fate. Then the 'other woman' appears. Read on...
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on 22 July 2015
View Beryl Reid at her very best when depicting 'Sister George'. BR was a really superb actress and outshone all other performers in this film. The lesbian story line was rather strong, when filmed, but more acceptable to present society. The love scenes will still shock many but this should not stop buyers wishing to see BR acting a very wide range of performances.
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on 16 November 2012
Such a superb movie and Beryl Reid has what it takes to keep it moving. From the opening pub scene showing (June Buckridge) known as Sister George on the public phone you just have to keep watching wondering what the next twist is going to be.
Love the bit in the Gateways club where George and her partner Childie are doing their double act and of course George in the taxi. Not a film for the shy or over-modest in those days but full of home truths. A very sad ending with a brilliant performance from Beryl Reid as the unloveable Sister George just great from the start.
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on 8 October 2017
Absolutely fabulously funny film, so glad I bought it, arrival was well within the dates given and was packed well
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on 18 February 2013
Beryl Reid and others are outstanding, as is Coral Browne in this tale of lesbian love and betrayal.

Quite a thorny subject for 1968, I was surprised to see it still has an 18 rating, even though there is nothing THAT naughty happening in it. Think it deserves a lower rating than 18 to be honest.

A great piece of film, that deserves a wider audience.
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on 30 January 2018
A classic film with brilliant acting by Beryl Reid.
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on 31 May 2018
Worth buying just for the saucy bit
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on 18 July 2015
Beryl Read and the rest of the cast are nothing short of genius - I found it a very sad film though - my personal preference being for comedy.
Bought it even so - a one off.
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