Amateur / Taps (Siege at Bunker Hill) (Both 1981) Uk Quad Poster
Essentially remade in 2017 as American Assassin, The Amateur trades the latter film's jihadist terrorists for the Baader-Meinhof gang, but the avenging amateur trained to be a ruthless killing machine hits the same beats. However, The Amateur plays up the very home-spun nature of John Savage's quest for vengeance, and how, for an agency able to completely disown him, it's a win-win situation. Grittily shot by John Coquillon, who photographed everything from Witchfinder General (1968), Straw Dogs (1971) and three others for Peckinpah, and The Changling (1980).
The Siege at Bunker Hill was the eventual TV title for Taps, but it had a release under the shorter title, and was one of those Outsiders-like films that had, in retrospect, an extraordinary cast. A Military Academy is about to be sold out to developers, and after an altercation leaves a boy dead and their commanding officer in hospital with a heart attack - the cadets decide to 'hold the fort', against the local law, and eventually the National Guard, in a stand-off that can only end one way. Haunting images of tiny boys in uniforms and helmets far too big for them linger.
Condition: VERY FINE
Cast: John Savage, Christopher Plummer, Marthe Keller, Nicholas Campbell, John Marley / George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise (pre dental fix), Giancarlo Esposito