DVD Review: Entertaining Mr Sloane (1969)
For me, the transfer of Joe Orton's Loot from theatre to film was entertaining, but a little uneven overall. The same can probably be said of Entertaining Mr Sloane, although the movie version of this Orton play does sit better on the big screen.
It's still very much a play in all but name - the limited cast of just four main characters, the almost farce-like plot and the limited number of location shots. All the action revolves around Mr Sloane, a hip teen played with some style (and occasional menace) by Peter McEnery. He's "adopted" by Kath (Beryl Reid), a mature woman still in mourning for her long-dead lover and despite the concerns of her "Dadda" - who believes he knows Mr Sloane as the murderer of a past acquaintance.
But there's another problem - Mr Sloane also catches the eye of Kath's brother Ed (played superbly by Harry Andrews), a slightly camp man who drives a large pink US car and has no time at all for the role of women in society. Ed wants Mr Sloane to come under his wing and follow his example - and for personal gain, Sloane is all too willing. And as the adoration for him grows, Sloane starts to play brother and sister off each other for further gain - until things start to go very wrong.
And as a film, it works because the characters make it work. Both Reid and Andrews are superbly over-the-top in their roles, while McEnery does a great job of worming his way into their affections. It's also well-written for the big screen, courtesy of Clive Exton, whose credits include 10 Rillington Place, Night Must Fall and Georgy Girl. And to top things off, there's a fine Georgie Fame score.
Controversial at the time of release due to the subject matter, it's now just a quirky example of late 60s British cinema. But it's an entertaining one and well worth checking out.
Extras on the DVD: