DVD review | Robin Redbreast | The vintage 1970 Play for Today casts its pagan spell all over again

Robin RedbreastTHE STORY
With her life in a mess, London career woman Norah (Anna Cropper) moves to the country where a series of strange and disturbing events result in her falling pregnant to simple young gameskeeper Rob. But when she learns that townsfolk had a hand in her predicament, Norah soon begins to fear that they want her unborn child for some ancient fertility ritual…

Anna Cropper in Robin RedbreastTHE LOWDOWN
This must have scared the beejeezers out of the housewives watching this afternoon play back in the winter of 1970. With its modern city career woman clashing with insular villagers and their pagan ways, it has a strong Rosemary’s Baby meets The Wicker Man vibe, and is actually considered to be a huge influence on the latter.

Provocative and disturbing in equal measure thanks to John Bowen‘s classy script that touches on casual sex, contraception and abortion as well as our fears about things that go bumb in the night, and featuring a stand-out performance from Anna Cropper (the former Corrie actress really holds her own her), this little British gem is real treat and the last seven minutes are guaranteed to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

Andy Bradford in Robin RedbreastTHE BFI RELEASE
Released as part of the BFI’s celebration of gothic film and TV, this DVD includes a 2013 interview with writer John Bowen, and a quaint, stuffy 1937 short about village life, plus a booklet containing new essays, biographies and credits.

Check out the trailer for the BFI’s new collection of sought-after BBC TV horror, which includes Robin Redbreast

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