Stanley Baker was hardly what you’d call a typical leading man in post-war British cinema. Unlike his peers, who were almost always handsome and debonair, the former electrician’s apprentice cut a rough and ready figure. In many ways a brooding brute of a man, he carved out a niche for himself in the likes of Zulu, The Guns of Navarone and Accident. The latter is one of his collaborations with director Joseph Losey. Another is The Criminal.
Johnny (Baker) has used his time in prison profitably, arranging a job for when he gets out. All goes to plan and he buries the money until the heat is off, as agreed with his friend Mike (Sam Wanamaker) and the rest of the gang. However, when greed gets the better of him, Johnny makes a fatal mistake and lands himself back in the clink. Where his fellow conspirators are determined to obtain the location of the stash from him.
The Criminal is a powerful prison drama about a man whose weaknesses threaten to have deadly consequences. Baker is a force of nature. He has a rugged charm and angular attractiveness whilst leaving you in no doubt whatsoever how dangerous Johnny can be when pushed. The Criminal is a taut and tense crime thriller where violence and danger is never too far away.
- NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Kat Ellinger
- Stills gallery
Newly restored, The Criminal is released on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Download by Studiocanal as part of the Vintage Classics collection on 16 September.