Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Michael Kitchen, John Sharian, Charlotte Riley, Max Brown, Adam James
Director: David Richards
Series: Foyle’s War #21 (Season 6, Episode 2)
Release Date: 18 April 2010
Length: 90 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: TV
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
“If the idea was that the end of the war would bring everyone together, then the disheartening reality is sinking in. Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) sees a swell of prejudice as black American GIs stationed near Bristol are fighting a war against intolerance. Mandy Dean (Charlotte Riley), a young, single mother, has trouble finding a home, ostracized even by her own family. To make matters worse, a random crime spree seems to be targeting Bristol. After all that suffering in the war, has nothing changed? Mandy finds relief in the capable hands of Sam (Honeysuckle Weeks), now helping to operate a guest house run by her budding love interest Adam Wainwright (Max Brown). But when Mandy’s ex-boyfriend, conscientious objector Tommy Duggan (Sam Spruell) returns to find the baby he didn’t father, the simmering tension in Hastings turns deadly. Foyle steps in, and before it is over, he’ll confront the US Army as well as the deep roots of bigotry.” — Masterpiece Mystery
This is another well-made and interesting Masterpiece Mystery presentation. This is the second film I have seen in the Foyle’s War series and it is really starting to grow on me. I do not know all of Foyle’s back story so I am not that interested in Sam’s new love interest and I am sure that I am missing a lot of subtleties of Foyle’s relationships with the rest of the townsfolk, but, aside from those 2 aspects, the mystery is always a stand-alone story. The common thread that runs through this series is that they all take place in a small town in Great Britain after World War II. Contrary to popular belief, the war is not over just because armistice is declared. Unfortunately, Britain is still on strict food rations and tensions run high as people try to get back to their “normal” lives. As with the previous episode I saw, I enjoyed this movie more for the historical background and details than for the the actual story, but there were a couple of mysteries that needed solving in this episode so the plot held my attention longer.
Foyle is on the hunt for a male/female couple of muggers who target wealthy men in the area when he becomes involved in the racial tensions between black and white American troops. The army suggests that segregation is the way to go to keep tempers under control, but Foyle tries to explain that Britain has never practiced segregation and does not feel that it is appropriate, temporary or not. One of the black GIs is madly in love with a local girl who has already borne his child, but they have a lot of prejudice to overcome to be together. When the young woman ends up dead in the woods, Foyle has his work cut out for him as everyone tries to hide the truth. The details and information provided in this episode were really interesting and thought provoking, especially since they involved race relations, which is still an issue today.
If you are interested in historical dramas or in well-made and thought-provoking mysteries, then I think you would enjoy this series. The acting is quite good and, while the mysteries are a bit slow paced for some people, I think that they have a nice flow to them and allow you the time to appreciate the details and the beautiful scenery. Take the time to check out the Masterpiece Mystery series that PBS shows on Sunday nights as I think that you will find an investigator that you enjoy watching whether it is Foyle, Marple or Poirot, there is someone that will catch your eye and keep your attention.
This movie shows drinking, racial prejudice, a young woman having a child out of wedlock, boxing fights, name calling and other verbal slurs, mugging, some violence and a dead body. There is nothing too violent or gory so I feel that this episode is appropriate for viewers ages 6 and up, but recommended for ages 10 and up.