See This: Hold Back The Night

Christine Tremarco and Stuart Sinclair Blyth
Star crossed Christine Tremarco and Stuart Sinclair Blyth



One of the occasional forays behind the camera of Phil Davis, the hugely gifted actor whose face pops up in everything from a Dickens adaptation to a geezer gangster flick.

Which is particularly of interest in this film because it’s neither of those. In fact it’s a genre Brits have a fairly low success rate in – the road movie. Upping the ante even further it’s a  feelgood road movie. And heaping the improbable on the unusual, it’s set in a Scotland that’s actually sunny.

It stars the enormously talented Christine Tremarco, as a teenager on the run from her abusive dad. Also on the hoof is Stuart Sinclair Blyth as her tree-hugging be-dreadlocked boyfriend, and Sheila Hancock turns up as the toffee-nosed terminally ill woman they run into.

Hancock is another standout in this unusual drama with a heart warm and genuine and a mouth occasionally foul. The New Age stuff does date it a bit but Davis has a straightforward way of directing and does with his actors what actor/directors often do – he lets them get on with what they’re good at.

In doing so the performers and Davis wring extra psychological insight out of Steve Chambers’ screenplay. Lovely stuff.



Hold Back the Night – watch it/buy it at Amazon



© Steve Morrissey 2013



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Hold Back the Night (1999) Drama | 104min | 10 December 1999 (UK) 6.2
Director: Phil DavisWriter: Steve ChambersStars: Christine Tremarco, Stuart Sinclair Blyth, Sheila HancockSummary: A young woman joins a group of protesters trying to stop the construction of a highway through a forest with the purpose of having sex with their leader. But when morning comes and the authorities show up to disband the protesters, she hits a man with a log. This causes the two to have to go on the run. With the help of a sickly, but sympathetic woman, the two slip through police roadblocks. Traveling with her, they learn she is an ex-army lesbian who just wants to see a final sunrise at the Orkney Islands before her death. Written by John Sacksteder <>


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