For Reel

Private Potter (1962)
April 30, 2011, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Caspar Wrede

Wildly bizarre, Private Potter marked the feature film debut of the great Tom Courtenay, who, in addition to Doctor Zhivago, will be remembered for two of the great films from the “Angry Young Man” period of British films – Billy Liar and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Set during the Cyprus Emergency, Courtenay plays the titular private who becomes responsible for the death of a comrade after screaming during a raid and giving up his group’s position. Potter claims that his scream was incited by a vision from God, which some of his superiors dismiss as insanity and others theorize the possibility that he might be a saint. Although offering a fascinatingly cynical perspective on faith, the film unfortunately struggles to go anywhere and concludes with, among other things, an appallingly long, unintentionally humorous swimming sequence.

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