This without doubt is not only Pinter's greatest work but also one of English theatre's greatest plays and achievements. It revolves around a powerhouse performance by Paul Rogers as Max who dominates the film with what should have been an Oscar winning performance. It's full of Pinter's trade marks: scathing biting dialogue, extra long pregnant pauses and heart stopping dramatic performances by every member of the cast. The play has the power to shock like you've never been shocked before.
A short concise outline of the film is as follows: Max's long estranged son Teddy who is a Professor returns from America with his wife Ruth. Max is upset and shocked when they reveal they have arrived unannounced, the previous evening. Their arrival has an affect on the whole family with repercussions and devastating consequences. There are incredible performances as we observe the bitter old bullied brother Sam as he tries to outwit Max in a constant vengeful battle of wits. Younger brother Lenny is the crafty sarcastic jack the lad, who resents his father and what he stands for, while joey is the dim witted put upon son who dreams of boxing glory to lead him out of his life of drudgery. What ensues is a monumental clash of wills, personalities and ideals, leading to a devastating and shocking finale which still has the power to shock even in this day and age.
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