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DOUGLAS HICKOX SHOOTING OLIVER REED FOR 'SITTING TARGET'

Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET Year: 1972 Rating: ****1/2

When long-time locked-up convict Oliver Reed breaks out of prison to kill wife Jill St. John for getting pregnant without him, it seems a solo effort despite having a buddy right alongside since Ian McShane's his dead-ringer/doppelganger...

In fact, both seem like the same character, only one's younger, more shady and sexually-active while our volatile anti-hero has the kind of seething tunnel-vision liken to Michael Caine from this film's obvious muse GET CARTER, only with far less last names/red herrings and a much simpler plot i.e. almost none at all... 

Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET

Yet most of the action, starting with a jailbreak (after making ample use of the dungeon-like prison from THE ITALIAN JOB)... reminiscent of a nail-biting World War II POW flick while coordinated by cerebral convict Freddie Jones... occurs at all the right moments... 

Including Reed fending off motorcycle cops tearing through clotheslines sent by token lawman/constable Edward Woodward, who surprisingly has very little overall purpose or input...

Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET with Ian McShane

Except for protecting the most important dame, on paper, yet a bland Jill St. John gets easily upstaged by sultry yet vulnerable Jill Townsend (middleman Frank Finlay's kept girl), who'd have made a perfect heart-of-gold moll for Reed... 

But his primary SITTING TARGET (the cheating wife is who/what the film's named after) has made him a deadly, vengeful, narrow-minded one-woman-man... while it lasts...

Jill Townsend a sitting target in SITTING TARGET

Providing director Douglas Hickox (who'd soon creatively capture John Wayne in the England-set BRANNIGAN) enough zoom shots and surreal camera angles throughout the gritty early-1970's London that... backed by Stanley Myers' surreal yet funky Neo Victorian score... feels deliberately catered to the previous decade's Swinging Sixties psychedelia... 

And yet the visual bedlam... not including random bouts of exposition dialogue that needed more eventual/purposeful closure... coincides with and is perfectly suited for an unhinged Reed, here at his most severe and uncompromising.

Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET with Frank Finlay
Jill Townsend in SITTING TARGET
Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Jailbreakers Oliver Reed, Freddie Jones and Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET

Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET with Jill Townsend
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET with Jill Townsend

Jill St. John and Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET
Ian McShane and Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Ian McShane and Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET with Freddie Jones and Tony Beckley
Ian McShane and Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Robert Beatty and Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET
Ian McShane and Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Jill St. John and Edward Woodward in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Jill Townsend in SITTING TARGET
Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Jill St. John in SITTING TARGET with Ian McShane
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET with Ian McShane
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET in Kilmainham Gaol
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET at Kilmainham Gaol
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET in Kilmainham Gaol
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET in Kilmainham Gaol
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET in Kilmainham Gaol
Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET in Kilmainham Gaol
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET in Kilmainham Gaol
Veteran actor Robert Beatty as Gun Dealer in SITTING TARGET
Veteran actor Robert Beatty as Gun Dealer in SITTING TARGET with Oliver Reed
SITTING TARGET with Oliver Reed
Jill St. John in SITTING TARGET with Oliver Reed
Jill St. John in SITTING TARGET with Oliver Reed
Jill St. John in SITTING TARGET
Jill St. John in SITTING TARGET with Edward Woodward
Jill Townsend a sitting target in SITTING TARGET
Jill Townsend a sitting target in SITTING TARGET
Jill Townsend a sitting target in SITTING TARGET with Oliver Reed
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Jill Townsend in SITTING TARGET
Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET with Ian McShane
SITTING TARGET with Ian McShane
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed and Ian McShane in SITTING TARGET
Oliver Reed in SITTING TARGET
Mike Pratt in SITTING TARGET

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