|Virginia Maskell and Ian McShane|
YOUNG AND WILLING aka The Wild and the Willing/1962). Director: Ralph Thomas.
"Damn it woman! Lloyds doesn't underwrite everything in life!"
Harry Brown (Ian McShane in his film debut) is a charismatic ladies man at an English college who has a steady girl, Josie (Samantha Eggar of Curtains), but has an affair with the wife, Virginia (Virginia Maskell), of one of his professors, the rather stern Chown (Paul Rogers). Harry is kind to his somewhat geeky roommate, Phil (John Hurt of Alien), and friendly with what appears to be the sole black student on campus, Reggie (Johnny Sekka). Other characters include Sarah (Katherine Woodwille), for whom Phil is carrying a torch, and somewhat snooty Andrew (Jeremy Brett), who was also involved with Virginia. It all leads up to a protracted finale in which Harry gets Phil to help him climb a tower and plant a flag as a prank, an act that leads to tragedy. Young and Willing has its moments, but a lot of it is very predictable. However, the actors are quite good, especially McShane and Maskell, here playing a role very different from hers in Doctor in Love, which was also directed by Ralph Thomas.
Verdict: Some compelling moments and performances. **1/2.