This film is basically a story about the life of Glasgow gangster Jimmy Boyle. Jimmy was a Glaswegian who grew up in Glasgow’s notorious Gorbals district and given his surroundings and social environment was probably destined to turn to a life of crime and violence. In 1967 he was imprisoned for life (the death sentence for the United Kingdom had been abolished by this time) for the murder of another gangster. Whilst in prison Jimmy turned to art and literature and wrote an autobiography entitled “A Sense Of Freedom“, ergo this film adaptation.
He has always maintained his innocence and managed to turn around his life so that upon release he didn’t return to crime but to artistic design and writing.
Now I’m not a big fan of things which “glorify” criminals (films about the Krays etc), and whilst he claimed he was innocent of murder he was probably guilty of a lot of other things so he probably deserved his incarceration from that respect. However, if “biopic” dramas such as this are your “thing” there’s no reason why you wouldn’t like to see this film, the acting by David Hayman is very very good and as far as I’m aware the retelling in this film is considered to be “pretty accurate.” So, like I say, if this is your sort of thing then go for it.
Any other points? Yes. The quality is kind of, how shall I put this? “A bit grim”, I don’t know if this is a case of “this is the best there is” or the company that released it just didn’t do a very good job of it but it’s VHS quality if I’m going to be fair about this.
On another note, at the time of writing the film is “deleted” (DVD industry jargon for “not made anymore”) so getting a DVD isn’t a cheap experience as supply is limited, at the time of writing a new DVD of this title is nearly £30 on Amazon UK. The good news is if you can hold on until the 12th of October 2015 (accurate at the time of writing) it is being re-released on DVD by another company (Amazon links are all below.) Hopefully the new release will have had some restoration and/or a better quality transfer to DVD.
NinjaMedia.xyz has one of these remaining at under £10 on eBay.