One review on 23 Dec 2020

UK 1978

Running time: 83 mins

The Shout

Director : Jerzy Skolimowski 

Setting: a village in North Devon
Original language: English
Summary: Who is the inmate and where is the asylum?


  • Alan Bates  Crossley (the cuckoo)
  • Jim Broadbent  fielder in a cowpat
  • Tim Curry  Robert Graves
  • John Hurt  Anthony (thee composer husband)
  • Susannah York  Rachel (wife)

Aspect Ratio: Widescreen

Colour: Colour

Sound: Talkie

Tech Notes: Camera : 0. Talkie

Film Category

First Seen: Wed 23rd Dec 2020
Catalogued: 14th Jan 2021


A tale told by one scorer to another during a locals vs inmates and staff cricket match at the asylum. The tale concerns a claim to have learned a shout that can kill, a cuckold obsessed with sound, and middle class niceness.


by rogerco on Wed 23rd Dec 2020 DVD proj @ home

Its Not (quite) Cricket


English shenanigans in the rural summer sun.

Full review

I remember seeing this when it first came out (1978) and thinking it a bit overblown. Just watched it again (2020) after it was featured in a list of films containing an English cricket match (a short list; The Go Between from the same period is another one, also with Alan Bates in a similar role)

It now seems a bit better than I remembered despite some inconsistencies and plot holes. Alan Bates, for all his brooding lumbering around, never quite pulls off the surreal menace that the role of Crossley, the man with The Shout That Can Kill, demands.

John Hurt as Anthony the philandering cuckold composer, seems unbelievably weak in the face of Crossley's invasion of his life, but that's what the role as written demands. Tim Curry as Robert Graves (yes the real one, he really did write the story the film is based on) listens to Crossley's tale with suitable wide-eyed innocence in the hut as they are scoring the locals versus loonies cricket match at the asylum.

The cast features many well known English actors of the period, including Susannah York getting her nipples out as usual and a young Jim Broadbent ripping his kit off to prance about in his pants in the thunderstorm that terminates the match, and the film. The Devon locations are an added bonus.

All in all an entertaining 90 minutes although not a great film by any means (and there isn't that much cricket!).