Acorn Media // 1992 // 201 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // December 31st, 2010
Everyone is guilty of something-and justice isn't always served.
The Guilty is a British mini-series from the early 1990s, produced by ITC and brought to DVD by Acorn Media. The two episodes are presented on two discs.
In London, attorney Steven Vey (Michael Kitchen, Foyle's War) celebrates winning a big case by getting drunk with his colleagues, including his new secretary, Nicky (Caroline Katz, Doc Martin). The night ends with Vey raping Nicky at her apartment. Nicky doesn't know what to do and Steven just wants it all to go away. In the meantime, in Birmingham, ex-con Eddy Doyle (Sean Gallagher, Coronation Street) has just learned the man that raised him isn't his real father. When Eddy heads to London to find his dad, he discovers much more than he bargained for.
The Guilty is a solid thriller with twists aplenty. The main focus is on Vey, whether he will be brought down by Nicky, and how far he is willing to go to keep the truth from coming out. It turns out that he will go to great lengths to prevent his misdeeds from becoming public. As the noose begins to tighten, he becomes increasingly desperate and his moral bearings slip further away. That's as much I can give away without ruining the story. Just know the ending is unconventional and things do not pan out as expected for Stephen, Nicky, or Eddy.
The performances are uniformly strong, as is expected from a British production. The center of attention is Kitchen, who turns in an impressively nasty performance as Stephen Vey, a man who goes from bad to worse. It's a character you will love to hate. Katz and Gallagher acquit themselves well.
The video quality is merely okay for standard broadcast television; standard full frame transfer with soft colors and lacking detail. It definitely looks like it was produced in the 1990s. The Dolby 2.0 audio is nothing special either, but there are no major problems.
The only real issue I have with The Guilty is that the loose ends get tied up a little too neatly and quickly. Aside from that, it's worthy viewing for fans of British drama.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 201 Minutes
Release Year: 1992
MPAA Rating: Not Rated