Earl Talbot Blake


Year: 1991
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy
Written By: Fred Dekker and Menno Meyjes (story), Steven E. de Souza (screenplay)


I came across this movie on late night TV about 9 years ago and found myself entranced. What a fantastic and demented story about revenge.  It has a cool 90s feel to it too. I specifically remember going out of my way on the following day to find a copy of it and buy it.

I distinctly remember how much I disliked Denzel Washington when I came across this movie. I have never had a very fond opinion of him but specifically remember having a big problem with him winning the Academy Award in 2003 for Training Day. I have still never revisited that movie so my old opinion still stands. Yet, having a bad opinion of him I was so surprised by his performance in this movie. I have always thought he had a chip on his shoulder about something, he just comes across as such an angry actor to me. In this movie he isn’t like that though, he’s so loose and seems to genuinely be enjoying himself.

I grew up watching John Lithgow play the foolish yet humorous part of Dick on 3rd Rock from the Sun. I thought it was awesome when I saw him as a bad guy for the first time in Cliffhanger, but this is different. In this movie he’s not simply a bad guy, he’s a straight up psychopath with one man in his cross hairs. Motivated by the prospect of revenge Lithgow’s villainous Earl Talbot Blake perseveres for seven years in prison planning all the while what he will do to exact that revenge. I thought his plan for revenge was what made this movie interesting. I love a good bad guy and Lithgow’s Blake fits the bill. He is cunning and ruthless with no inhibitions what so ever. Driven only by hate he is the exact type of person you don’t want to get on the wrong side of.

This is a cool movie and I like it, but it literally provokes nothing more from me than what has already been written. I think if you have the opportunity to see this one you are in for a surprising treat. I don’t know how likely that is because this seems to be a generally forgotten movie. It’s a cool story with interesting plot twists and good performances. That makes it worth your time to see.

NEXT MOVIE: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)