Give Us Tomorrow/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Give Us Tomorrow

This fantastically-titled British home invasion tale aspires to be America’s Fight For Your Life, by way, of course, the classic Desperate Hours. It’s a contemptuous look at one Middle Class family’s public humiliation at the hands of two wayward intruders.

Martin Hammond (James Kerry) is a bank manager in a suburban town. When two robbers force him to open the safe and hand over the loot, he obliges. At the same time that the robbery is taking place, two more robbers: portly and profane Ron (Derren Nesbitt) and his younger, ne’er-do-well accomplice “The Boy” (Alan Guy) are at Hammond’s house holding his family hostage. Martin’s wife Wendy (Sylvia Syms) is haughty and belligerent, his teenage daughter Nicola (Donna Evans) is rebellious and boy hungry, and his pre-teen son Jamie (Matthew Haslett) is silent but calculating.

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When Hammond returns home from the bank he too is taken hostage. The two accomplices at the bank have double crossed their hostage taking friends and hit the road with the dough. What follows is a series of curious interactions. Instead of brutalizing matriarch Wendy—who’s got a tart tongue, portly Ron makes her cook, prepare tea, and serve him both breakfast and, later in the day, lunch. He has made her subservient: something that he knows she hates. Young Jamie silently watches his family being tormented but he’s got an escape plan: will it work? And big sister Nicola, proud of her long hair and budding breasts (she tells us so), develops a crush on “The Boy.” Poor patriarch Martin, efficient and practical by nature, is rendered immobile and speechless. All he can do is hope that the nightmare will come to an end soon.

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But it doesn’t. Between the police constantly calling and a thwarted gun grab, there’s always something going on in the Hammond house: even in the bedroom where we watch Nicola joyously deflowered: “Harder, harder! I always wondered what it would feel like!” Presented as a rape to torture her parents, Nicola and “The Boy” actually want to have sex. Against all odds, during the course of the home invasion, they’ve developed a quasi-relationship: confessions have been made; dreams have been shared.

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Discussions of class differences and the effects of unemployment are covered in this movie with a message. So are the exploitation film audience’s expectations: profanity, violence, nudity and degradation. Writer/producer/director Donovan Winters has delivered a time specific look at Britain in the 1970s (Nicola has a Star Wars poster on her bedroom wall and a Fleetwood Mack “Rumours” T-shirt on her torso). The film concludes with a black and white stop-action sequence that foreshadows contemporary paparazzi culture. Interesting.


Josiah Howard is the author of four books including Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide (now in a fourth printing). His writing credits include articles for the American Library of Congress, The New York Times and Readers Digest. A veteran of more than one hundred radio broadcasts, Howard also lectures on cinema and is a frequent guest on entertainment news television. Visit his Official Website.

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