Watch Now: HENNESSY
Don Sharp, the Australian-born British filmmaker who’s probably most famous for the movies he made for Hammer in the sixties, made an excellent thriller called Hennessy in 1975. Because it tells the story of a man who lost his family during a riot in Belfast and then decides to blow up the British Houses of Parliament, it received a very unfair treatment distribution-wise, and its screening was consequently very limited even though the critics from major newspapers, such as the Guardian, rated it quite positively.
With a great cast led by Rod Steiger, Lee Remick, Richard Johnson, Trevor Howard and a young Patrick Stewart in his film debut, and a musical score composed by the great John Scott, Hennessy was shot by director of cinematography Ernest Steward, who dedicated more than two decades to working with director Ralph Thomas. This is a nail-biting thriller with great pacing, and a film with a simple yet highly effective premise: a peaceful man is simply pushed too far and the circumstances he finds himself in completely turn his life around. Unfortunately, its deserved commercial success was unfairly damaged by factors completely unrelated to its cinematic qualities.