Black and White

2002

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 737

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 28, 2022 at 01:11 AM

Director

Cast

Ben Mendelsohn as Rupert Murdoch
Charles Dance as Roderic Chamberlain
Robert Carlyle as David O'Sullivan
Colin Friels as Father Tom Dixon
720p.BLU
932.24 MB
1280*682
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Chris_Docker 6 / 10

More of a near miss than a resounding success

A half-caste aborigine in 1950s Australia is sentenced to death on little more than racist supposition over the rape and murder of a young girl. Penniless and inexperienced good-guy lawyers, Robert Carlyle and Kerry Fox, go up against the system to save the man's neck from the gallows. David Ngoombujarra, as the half-caste, turns in a moving performance, the story has sufficient emotional pace, legal twists and unusual setting, yet for some reason manages to peter down like a wet squib. The climax doesn't seem to do the rest of the film justice, and the reminder that it is based on true events comes too late (at the very end of the credits) to have the proper impact. Black and White is an interesting film, but more of a near miss than a resounding success.

Reviewed by quatermax-1 6 / 10

A well put together movie featuring a classic underdog vs. establishment scenario...

Adelaide, Australia, 1958 and a 9 year-old girl is found brutally murdered and raped. The police quickly, perhaps a little too quickly, find a suspect: Max Stuart, a young illiterate and heavy drinking half-caste Aborigine man (Ngoombujarra – CROCODILE DUNDEE IN L.A.) from out of town who, once in custody, confesses to the crime. As it's a legal aid case Stuart is appointed lawyers in the shape of local team Carlyle (THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, FULL MONTY) and Fox (THE GATHERING, THE POINT MEN). Prosecuting is arrogant, experienced and privileged-class Crown Solicitor Dance (ALIEN 3, LAST ACTION HERO). Stuart's story is that he is innocent and that the police beat the confession out of him, but faced with a bigoted community and the overwhelming skill and legal connections of Dance's character, the odds prove too overwhelming for the young, inexperienced duo.

Stuart is predictably found guilty and sentenced to be hanged.

Carlyle's character however does not give up that easily and, helped in his quest by the prison priest (Friels – DARK CITY, THE MAN WHO SUED GOD) and a young newspaper publisher called Rupert Murdoch (Mendelsohn – VERTICAL LIMIT), he continues to discover new evidence and witnesses, and proceeds through the hierarchy of appeal procedures, ultimately speaking before the Lord Privvy Council in London, resulting in seven stays of execution over the following year.

Based on real events, this is a well put together movie featuring a classic underdog vs. establishment scenario, not just in Stuart, who is regarded as just an ignorant savage by 1959 white Australian society, but also in Carlyle's lawyer who is thwarted at every turn by an archaic legal system and a superior foe, and who is risking his reputation and livelihood in the pursuit of justice. The film makes no final judgement and presents both sides of the case equally leaving the audience to come to their own verdict. The audience will of course take the side of the underdogs, but there is an unnerving dénouement where we catch up with the real Max Stuart who makes a very ambiguous comment on his innocence.

The era is well captured and the acting is solid throughout, though the characters are rather obviously drawn.

Not worth owning but well worth a watch.

Reviewed by yelofneb-63037 6 / 10

This story deserves a better treatment

May include spoilers:

I agree with a previous reviewer that the talents of a whole bunch of brilliant true actors were not displayed nearly as well as they should have been. There are various points where passionate stances are rendered in a manner that makes one wonder about the director's choice as to which take should have been submitted to the editor.

Charles Dance's performance was, as always, impeccable, which, unfortunately, lead to a perceptible imbalance when the chosen takes revealed that both Robert Carlyle and Kerry Fox, though both are accomplished actors with resumees that are ample proof of their ability, simply were not delivering their best.

For anyone with experience of life in Australia, it's an important story in the history of judicial fair treatment but this movie comes across as only a half effort to be true to its inspiration. It's as if the director had lost interest at various points along the way.

In the best of all cinematic worlds, another go at this, with all of the original actors and a new director--especially one who might have known the late Craig Lahiff, who I'm sure had the best of all intentions--would be a blessing to do justice to a far more significant event in Australia's history than this version represents.

There are issues here that deserve far more respectful treatment. Alone the idea of Rupert Murdoch as a white knight in service of justice for the underdog is such an explosive irony, not to mention that an immigrant solicitor manages to have a case heard by the British Privy Council, and on rejection, yet again by a Royal Commission. Please, same cast, new director.

Just to see what I mean, watch this movie.

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