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The Brute (1977)

R | | Crime, Drama | 22 March 1977 (UK)
Glamour model Diane Shepherd is routinely being beaten by her husband Tim, who accuses her of infidelity. When she can't take it anymore, she finds shelter with photographer Mark and his ... See full summary »


Gerry O'Hara


Gerry O'Hara


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Douglas ... Diane
Julian Glover ... Teddy
Roberta Gibbs Roberta Gibbs ... Maria
Bruce Robinson ... Mark
Suzanne Stone Suzanne Stone ... Carrie
Kenneth Nelson ... Psychiatrist
Nicholas Barnes Nicholas Barnes ... Tim Shepherd
Charlotte Cornwell Charlotte Cornwell ... Primrose
Jenny Twigge Jenny Twigge ... Millie
Sylvester Morand Sylvester Morand ... Alan
James Farrar James Farrar ... Charlie
Ricki Stewardson Ricki Stewardson ... Scruffy boy
David Millett David Millett ... Eric
Clive Graham Clive Graham ... Police sergeant
Anne Godley Anne Godley ... Community house woman


Glamour model Diane Shepherd is routinely being beaten by her husband Tim, who accuses her of infidelity. When she can't take it anymore, she finds shelter with photographer Mark and his girlfriend Carrie. They introduce Diana to Millie, who is in a similar situation. Meanwhile, Tim informs Diane that if she doesn't come back to him, he will see to it that he gains custody of their son, Timmy. Written by Il Tesoro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


do you hate him...or do you love him?


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for domestic violence, sexuality and some language | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 March 1977 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Han-dyret See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

Company Credits

Production Co:

Trigon Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


was met with considerable controversy in the UK media when first released in 1977 due to it's graphic depiction of domestic violence & physical spousal abuse. See more »

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User Reviews

Forty years on, this seldom-seen shocker remains powerful enough to be worth a look.
22 September 2017 | by tommyrosscomixSee all my reviews

The British film industry in the seventies was in a very strange place, which ironically paved the way for a number of films you just can't imagine being made in any other decade, or under any other circumstances. With the wealthy American backers out of the picture and the home video boom lurking just around the corner, the seventies remains perhaps British cinema's most insane and strangely compulsive decade, where bona-fide cult classics such as the Wicker Man and Get Carter rub alongside dirt-cheap sex flicks like 1972's the Love Box and Derren Nesbitt's ill-fated the Amorous Milkman, and big budget Bond films and Lew Grade-sponsored splashy blockbusters flickered onto fleapit screens only recently vacated by the 'moral obscenities' of the bad boys of British horror, Pete Walker and Norman J. Warren.

The Brute, with its uneasy combination of gloss and glamour, sordid violence and kitchen-sink realism, dingy location filming and titles apparently rendered in transfer lettering, is seventies Britain to its toenails, although the introduction from a psychiatrist seems to hark back to the 'white coat' sex films of the previous decade, where narration from a practising doctor was a crafty way of getting nudity and naughty bits past the ever-vigilant censor. Other concessions to contemporary trends are apparent in a bit of pro- feminist black power arse-kicking doled out to a serial abuser, the overall appearance of Bruce 'Withnail and I' Robinson's sympathetic hippy photographer, and the inevitable spacious house apparently in the middle of nowhere, which (as anyone who's seen A Clockwork Orange or Straw Dogs will readily testify) was seventies cinema shorthand both for comfortable living, and the nagging feeling that something horrible was about to happen.

The biggest problem with the film is that it's not really sure what it wants to be, and as a result, the mood of the piece is all over the place, swinging wildly from shadowy, Gothic-horror theatricals to quasi-documentary bleakness and back again, buoyed by the largely fine performances. Some sensible points are made, there's food for thought to spare and we are never once asked (or allowed) to be sympathetic toward the abusers, but the plot feels strangely tacked on and the denouement lamentably botched.

The Brute opened briefly in early 1977 to a storm of protests and accusations of bad taste and quickly vanished, though it did receive a video release in the early eighties on the Brent Walker label and a region one DVD release seems to be doing the rounds in collector's circles. It's a difficult film to enjoy - it's frequently a difficult film to watch - but fans of obscure British cinema with a taste for the offbeat should definitely track it down and remind themselves just how eclectic (if decidedly strapped for cash) the domestic film industry really was in that most conflicted of decades.

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