Never Let Go : The Film - The Poster
Alright, Alfie (Mervyn Johns)! I know that you didn't mean to do it! Yet if you never told that snivelling little shampoo seller -- what's-his-name -- John Cummings (Richard Todd) -- that I got Tommy Towers (Adam Faith) to steal his car, I wouldn't be in the bleeding mess I'm in now!
Huh? What's that you say, Alfie? Speak up. 'John needs his car so he can keep his silly little job'? Ha! Why should I care about that, eh? I'm Lionel Meadows (Peter Sellers), God damn it! And I'm a legitimate businessman who tells people what to do, and how they should f*cking do it.
If I want a car to get swiped, it gets swiped. If I want a car to be reconditioned, it gets reconditioned. And if I want to sell that reconditioned car afterwards, it gets sold. Got it, Alfie? It's as simple as that.
Heck, I couldn't even care less what anyone else thinks about me. Be it my pretty little gal pal, Jackie (Carol White). Be it my second in command, Cliff (David Lodge). Or be it that smug-faced Inspector Thomas (Noel Willman) either. I am a man with a plan to make some big bucks by selling stolen cars. A very cunning plan that you messed up, Alfie, when you told that snivelling little shampoo seller that I got
to... ohhh... forget it... BANG! Tommy
Still. That's most probably why what next transpires all busts a nut when John tell his wife, Anne, (Elizabeth Sellars), that he can't let it lie. As a shampoo seller has a one track mind - Jackie and Tommy are very hard to find - a legitimate businessman is finally let loose - and at the end of the day, nobody calls it a truce.
Now if you've watched as many Peter Sellers documentaries as I have, you'd know that 'Never Let Go' was the movie that hindered his early film career, mainly because it was the one where he played it straight, and played it bad. Very-very bad.
Heck, I'd go so far as to say that there were parts of this film where I couldn't believe my eyes. As Peter was just that good.
Having said that, though, this got me to wondering why this film has been slandered ever since it was released? All of the actors really did put on one hell of a show. Especially my pal Pete, plus the poor yet downtrodden, Richard Todd. The overall production values were also very well polished. Exhuming a delightfully contrasting and vivid 'neo noir' style, through and through. Plus most of the supporting players really did support the conceptual narrative. And on occasion, enhanced the plot by literally giving it a perfectly placed kick up the back-side.
Then it hit me. THUNK! It's the overall story that was the problem. Here and there it seemed to loose its focus. Philandering between Peter's character, Richard's character, Adam's character, and Carol's character, without properly defining whose vantage point this narrative was coming from in the first place. Furthermore, I also noticed that the 'bad guys' and the general through-line were of the more one note variety. Not really having a proper back-story so you could associate with their sordid shenanigans or demeanor.
Overall 'Never Let Go' is a film you've got to watch for three different reasons. Firstly, it's a must see for those of you who are into crime capers of the neo noir variety. Secondly, it's a pretty nifty film if you'd like to see what
looked like back in the day. And thirdly, it's something you have to see if you
ever want to witness Peter Seller playing a right evil b*stard.
THE RATING: B