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Steven Berkoff film 1990s




In the 1990s Berkoff took the money and ran.  A series of poor roles in disappointing films.



Steven Berkoff - The Krays - Title

The Krays.  Rock stars (Spandau Ballet) playing gangsters with Steven Berkoff to boost up the acting.  Berkoff lived alongside the real-life Krays "they were always immaculately turned out in dark suits and ties. There was something awfully macabre about these strange beasts, since their power over people was more than just the threat of violence".  Berkoff tries to talk his way out as the gun is pointed to his head.  Directed by Peter Medak in 1990.  Berkoff would later work with Medak on an Agatha Christie television story By the Pricking of my Thumbs.

Steven Berkoff - The Krays- the gang

Steven Berkoff - The Krays  Steven Berkoff - The Krays

Steven Berkoff - The Krays

Steven Berkoff - The Krays - Billie Whitelaw

Steven Berkoff - The Krays

Steven Berkoff - The Krays - Kate Hardie

Steven Berkoff - The Krays

Steven Berkoff - The Krays - funeral

Steven Berkoff - The Krays

“In the film, the Krays are played by brothers, Gary and Martin Kemp, whose sleek, good looks seem right at home in expensive suits and polished shoes. Their performances suggest an eerie quality to the twins - the notion that they are never entirely offstage, that everything they say is for effect, sometimes ironic effect, and that they are never more dangerous than when their oily politeness is on display” (Roger Ebert 4 Nov 1990, for Roger Ebert site click here).

Steven Berkoff - The Krays - twins

“The Kemp brothers, from the English rock group Spandau Ballet, give haunting performances and are uncannily well used. Quiet, restrained, with cool, piercing eyes, these brothers make plausible the Krays' reserves of violence and the near-telepathic empathy that binds them together. Gary Kemp, as the more commanding and peculiar Ron Kray, makes an especially scary impression, particularly once the Krays' perfect control has begun to unravel… Among the actors, Steven Berkoff and Tom Bell make brief but powerful appearances as the two hoods whose resentment of the Krays' celebrity contributed to the brothers' downfall” (Janet Maslin, New York Times, 9 Nov 1990).

Steven Berkoff - The Krays

Steven Berkoff - The Krays

Steven Berkoff - The Krays

 

Steven Berkoff - The Krays - Credit

All images from the film.






Steven Berkoff - Fair Game - title

Fair Game with Cindy Crawford as a civil lawyer trying to repossess a boat. Unfortunately it is the boat of renegade KGB agents headed by Berkoff.  A reasonable action hi-tech thriller with Berkoff in good form as a Hollywood Russian.  Directed by Andrew Sipes in 1995.

Cindy Crawdord - Fair Game -

Steven Berkoff - Fair Game - Tortuga ship

Steven Berkoff - Fair Game - Cindy Crawford

Steven Berkoff - Fair Game - William Baldwin

Steven Berkoff - Fair Game

Berkoff says that he rewrote his own dialogue, but these takes were not used. The one-dimensional result, with Berkoff as totally ruthless, is not too bad for an action film.

Steven Berkoff - Fair Game

Steven Berkoff - Fair Game

"Crawford has told of feuds with Fair Game producer Joel Silver about cheesy nudity and violence. Clearly she didn't win all her battles. Crawford packs a phallic pistol and traipses through the rain in a transparent slip" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, 18 Nov 1995, click here).

"Clocking in at 90 minutes, “Fair Game” has the feeling of a movie that’s been trimmed, which, given what remains, may not be a bad thing. Both Fletcher’s script, adapted from a novel by Paula Gosling, and Sipes’ direction have a hurried feeling to them, as if they couldn’t wait to get this movie over with and forgotten.  Which brings us back to Crawford, who spends a fair amount of the movie in demurely revealing outfits that expose carefully rationed areas of flesh. Though the credits indicate that three makeup people, two hairstylists, a vocal consultant and a dialogue coach all pitched in and helped her, the actress would have been better served by a single employee who knew how to read scripts and was savvy enough to advise her to stay away from this one."(Kenneth Turan, 3 Nov 1995, click here).

Cinematography is by Richard Bowen and the editors are David Finfer, Steven Kemper and Christian Wagner. 

Steven Berkoff - Fair Game  credit

All images from the film.






Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man -  title

Flynn, also called My Forgotten Man, about Hollywood actor Errol Flynn. The film treats his life, up to his first film, as if it is a Flynn action movie, but lacks irony or real adventure.  Guy Pearce of Memento stars.  Directed by Frank Howson in 1996.

Flynn- My Forgotten Man - Guy Pearce

 

Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man

Flynn has a chance at happiness but risks it for adventure and gold. 

Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man

Steven Berkoff is good as a German in the jungle who alternately befriends and cheats Flynn.  He brings life to an otherwise dull film.

Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man

Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man

After adventures including looking for gold and being accused of murder, Flynn returns to America and tries acting and the start of his stardom.  The film meanders and gives no insight into Flynn's driving force or his innermost thoughts. 

Guy Pearce - Flynn- My Forgotten Man  Guy Pearce- Flynn- My Forgotten Man

The film had a troubled start "Under the title Flynn, pic started shooting in North Queensland in 1990 under Brian Kavanaugh’s [sic, should be Kavanagh] direction. Lensing was halted after a few weeks and, with a new leading lady and Steven Berkoff added to the cast, resumed much later (with Fiji now doubling for New Guinea) and Frank Howson at the helm" (Todd McCarthy, Variety, click here).  The film was renamed My Forgotten Man but seems now to be known by the original name Flynn.

On Errol Flynn "Contrary to popular belief, he actually wasn't all that bad an actor either, but he was also his own worst enemy, an alcoholic womaniser who did his level best to scupper his own good fortune, and eventually succeeded. He appears to have had some fun along the way, though, and his exploits are the stuff of legend. Errol was the principal architect of his own myth, and in a ghost-written 1959 memoir, My Wicked, Wicked Ways, he claimed to have indulged in piracy on the South Seas, killed a man in Papua New Guinea, smoked opium in Hong Kong and engaged with the Nazis while smuggling guns to the Spanish Civil War. And all of this before he hit the big time in Hollywood and started merrily sowing his seed. How verifiable all of that is is open to debate, but almost beside the point, because all of Flynn's Hollywood friends attest to the fact that he was a wonderful barroom spinner of tales which, if not exactly true, really ought to have been. "(Paul Whitington, 17 Nov 2018, The Independent, Ireland- for link click here).

Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man  Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man

Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man  Steven Berkoff - Flynn- My Forgotten Man

In the credits Ian McKean plays the role of "Dead Man".  He is also one of the 3rd Assistant Directors, as well as Office Runner/Traffic Control and finally as one of the songwriters for the soundtrack.

Wendy Matthews singing Remember my Forgotten Man is particularly good and poignant.


Steven Berkoff -  Flynn - My Forgotten Man - credit

All images from the DVD of the film.






 

Steven Berkoff - Nine and a Half Weeks - title

Another 9 1/2 weeks also called Love in Paris- just what the world was waiting for. Cheap, pretentious soft porn- so unlike most sequels it is faithful to the original.

Mickey Rourke - Nine and a Half Weeks

Mickey Rourke demonstrates how the talent shown in Rumble Fish has disappeared.

"The oddest thing about “Another Nine & a Half Weeks” is the almost complete absence of any genuinely heat-inducing action in this lugubrious follow-up to Mickey Rourke’s steamy 1986 hit. There’s hardly a smidgen of chemistry between Rourke and Angie Everhart, what little erotic fun there is arrives too late, and the fully clothed dramatics are almost painfully uninteresting" (Brendan Kelly, Variety, 26 Sept 1997, click here).

Steven Berkoff - Nine and a Half Weeks

Steven Berkoff is quite good as a fashion designer, camp but surrounded by girls "I'll even take her to the theatre".

Steven Berkoff - Nine and a Half Weeks - horse

A strange scene where a horse in the street collapses, but it seems unrelated to the plot and any symbolism  is unclear.  The horse was the only character I felt for.

Directed by Anne Goursaud in 1997. She is better known as an editor in films for Coppola such as One From the Heart and The Outsiders.  She also edited this film along with Terilyn A. Shropshire.

Steven Berkoff - Nine and a Half Weeks

The cinematography was by Robert Alazraki and there is occasionally some imaginative imagery.  And the music is good, especially Substrate's slow version of Roxy Music's Love is the Drug.

Best name from the credits: Construction Co-ordinator Fritz Hollergschwandtner.

Steven Berkoff - Nine and a Half Weeks - credits

Legionnaire directed by Peter MacDonald in 1998 and set in Marseille and Morocco in 1925.  Jean-Claude van Damme was co-writer, with cinematography by Douglas Milsome.

Van Damme plays a boxer who refuses to take a dive. This annoys the mob and when trying to escape he kills the mobster's brother, so van Damme has to disappear and joins the French Foreign Legion.

Berkoff plays Sergeant Steinkamf, charged with bringing the newcomers up to standard, but his role is not really convincing, with not enough menace or character. So when Berkoff is killed by hordes of Arabs, no-one really cares either way.

 

The film is very slow with little of interest, though the final fight sequence is quite good.

"Legionnaire, with a budget of $35m, was in 1998 thought to be the most expensive film ever to go straight to video" (Alex von Tunzelmann, The Guardian, 25 Feb 2010 click here).

Best part of the film is the music in the final credits, Ute Lemper singing Mon Legionnaire.

All images from the DVD of the film.


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