Review: Shout at the Devil

Set in East Africa, hard-drinking American Lee Marvin teams up with Englishman Roger Moore to blow up a German ship. Rene Kolldehoff is the imposing, but buffoonish German baddie, Barbara Parkins is Marvin’s estranged daughter whom Moore shacks up with, and Ian Holm is a shifty-eyed Arab servant. Look out for small turns at the beginning by George Coulouris (“Citizen Kane”), Jean Kent (“The Haunted Strangler”), Maurice Denham (“Damn the Defiant!”, “Sink the Bismarck!”, “23 Paces to Baker Street”) and at the end by Murray Melvin.

Long but engaging 1976 Peter R. Hunt (“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”) flick is like a macho “African Queen”, with Moore playing Hepburn to Marvin’s hilarious Bogart. Seriously, watch the film and tell me I’m wrong! Only Holm, in a racist pantomiming East Indian caricature leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from a 1950s Rank Organisation film with Anthony Steel or Stanley Baker, and say a young Donald Pleasence doing blackface schtick.

Lots of action, and tongue-in-cheek humour, but you’ll probably wish it’d wrap things up a bit sooner. It’s not that it is bad in any way, it’s just too much. Still, I can’t really take points off for the film being too long, and Mr. Holm is only a minor blemish as well. It’s solid stuff. The screenplay is by Stanley Price (“Arabesque”), novelist Wilbur Smith (“Dark of the Sun”) and Alistair Reid (a director of mostly TV), from the novel by Smith.

Rating: B-


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