|Cast||Del Walker Anne Gooding Sam Shepherd Roy Haywood Freda Shepherd Dick Philpott Chris Shepherd Stuart Stones Geoffrey Wincott J. Hughes Sr. Mick Hart Ken Field Marguerite Hughes E.E. Blundell J. Hughes Jr. Trevor Oakley Tina Syer|
|Awards||1970 San Francisco International Film Festival|
|Plot||... see Bronco Bullfrog on IMDb|
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|Bronco Bullfrog is quite essentially the little unpretentious black-and-white feature which takes all on our accepting the truth of its observation, the believability of its characters and situations. fortunately Barney Platts-Mills is a real film-maker, with Kenneth Loach the only really exciting talent to emerge in the British Cinema since, well, since Lindsay Anderson. His picture of young life in the East End of London today is believable but it remains very much his picture, romantic but not sentimental, creating a world of its own which is defined but not limited by the external realities of the situation. |
It is a study of character and atmosphere rather than a story-film. The story as such is very slight: Del, a 17-year-old welder's apprentice, meets Irene, fifteen and still at school. They - the romantic phrase is the only one applicable - fall in love and when his father and her mother both disapprove and make things awkward, they run away. But they have nowhere to go; even when they hole up with "Bronco Bullfrog", who has escaped from Borstal and is in hiding, it is inevitable that the law will catch up with them fairly soon.
The non-professional cast is miraculously well directed: not only the principal young people but all the lesser characters. The girl's mother for instance with her hard-won snobbish superiority towards those she feels are almost imperceptibly lower than herself in the social scale her dramatization of her daughter's flight for the benefit of a smart young policeman is beautifully observed and impeccably played.
Mr. Platts-Mills has brought off a piece of neo-realism far more rigorous and effective than anything the Italians attempted even in the movements heyday. And funny too, like Kes. Bronco Bullfrog is not only art but - which is a lot more difficult to bring off - immensely telling popular entertainment as well. - John Russel Tayler, The Times, Oct 16, 1970
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