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The Last Valley: extracts from reviews

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Jan. 28th, 1971 | 12:20 am

This Island Rod

"… the rapacious Hansen (Michael Gothard) is given to stirring up trouble, eventually raising a rival band of brigands to contest the valley …

The evocation of a blasted, cruel, evil epoch isn’t as ineffaceable or provocative as that in Ken Russell’s 'The Devils' from the same year (they both sport cast member Gothard, with his gift for portraying multiple varieties of creep) but shares some imagery and mood, combined with high-riding sweep of narrative."

Full review

Deitmar Zingl in 70 mm News:

“Michael Caine is especially fond of TLV. It's one of his own favorite movies. He uses a slight German accent for his role as Captain Hauptmann, the cool warrior with a wounded soul.

Omar Sharif is the romantic intellectual, some kind of Zhivago lost in Germany. Per Oscarsson is a religious fanatic priest, wonderfully over the top, as most of the religious fanatics, even today. Florinda Bolkan is the independent woman in a male dominated society and pays a high price for her independence.

More wonderful actors are Nigel Davenport, Arthur O‘Connell and the wild and angry Michael Gothard as Hansen. His performance resembles that of Klaus Kinski in "Aguirre, The Wrath of God" although that came two years later.”

Full review

Ian Christie – Daily Express, 7 April 1971

“…in the hands of director James Clavell, it has an epic quality that never loses its fascination.”

Daily Mail, 1971

“A film whose action speaks so much more eloquently than words.”

Financial Times, 1971

“Burst of action, effectively staged.”

Daily Mirror, 1971

“Lusty escapism and action … hefty and exciting high spots … always engrossing.”

The Guardian, 1971

“They don’t make films like James Clavell’s “The Last Valley” any more. … a genuine attempt to summon up a period.”

Sunday Times, 1971

“The violence proceeds naturally from the action and doesn’t undermine its own anti-war theme.”

Sunday Telegraph, 1971

“The film works up a satisfying atmosphere of unquiet calm.”

The People, 1971

“Michael Caine, slickest of contemporary film heroes. A splendid spectacle. A fine cast supports Michael.”

New York Post

“One of the most absorbing film entertainments of the year! A picture that enthralls from start to finish! An historical thriller, realistic in setting, romantically touching and meaningful ...”

Richard Schickel - Life Magazine

“One of the most intelligent movies I’ve seen.”

Vincent Canby - New York Times

“A story of survival set in a magnificent valley like Bertolt Brecht in ‘Mother Courage’, Mr Clavell ses the incredible horrors of the Thirty Years’ War as a metaphor for contemporary horrors … Caine and Sharif are quite good.”

Martha Deane - WOR Radio

“One of the most profound, impressive and important films as seen. I was continually moved by its theme and performances.”

David Goldman - WCBS Radio

“The acting is first rate with Michael Caine doing the best work of his career. An unusual movie-going experience.”

WMCA Radio

“Right in the class of Ben Hur.”

Other reviews

DVD Talk
In Stereo
New York Times
Cane Toad Warrior

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