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directed by Norman Stone
UK 1989


More straightforward than DEAD HEAD, THE JUSTICE GAME finds Dennis Lawson's Glasgow laywer Dominic Rossi as another cynic who discovering how things are really run behind the curtains. Busy on the high-profile case of two footballers in a fracas with father-and-son hooligans, Rossi misses the desperate call from the subsequently-murdered Sandowski (CALLAN's Russell Hunter), an accountant who did a runner rather than testify against one of Rossi's clients. Rossi hires a PI friend to look into Sandowski's more recent past while he ends up taking on a case that is closely-related: the defense of an ex-army man (GAME OF THRONES' Ron Donachie) suspected to be behind a series of vigilante firebombings of the urban poor. It is quite obvious to the audience well before Rossi that everything ties back to a mysterious merchant-banking firm run by a wonderfully glowering Michael Kitchen (OUT OF AFRICA) while FLAWLESS lurks around in the shadows, so the suspense comes from just when and how Rossi will make that connection (and how many of his allies will be killed before he does). More interesting than the case itself is the film's depiction of a yuppie world in which characters variously have issues with justifying their enjoyment of the high life when their work involves them with those less fortunate (Rossi and underground newspaper friend Gerry [Hilton McRae, GREYSTOKE] are former student revolutionaries who hang out in gentrified businesses that were once the greasy spoons of their youth). Among the familiar faces in the first series are LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM's Paul Brooke, BRIDGET JONES' DIARY's Celia Imrie, and SYMPTOMS' Lorna Heilbron.

Lawson returned for a second series - the credits of which are not even listed at IMDb - at the end of an Italian romance in Sorrento with lovely Francesca (UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN's Anita Zagaria). Returning to Glasgow, Rossi has a new junior partner in the driven Eleanor (Barbara Flynn), Gerry is running for political office, and Rossi may be giving up being "Glasgow's Perry Mason" for the lofty position of advocate. No sooner does dependable burglar informant Benny (Jake D'Arcy) get Rossi involved in the arrest of his nephew (discovered along with his buddy carrying 18,000 GBP) than the young man is run over. Rossi's investigation of the case is further clouded by the arrival of Francesca who he discovers is traveling under another name, on the run from a hitman who has murdered other members of a group to which she once belonged a decade before. Whereas the first series' threads interwove, the two here split apart and give Eleanor a chance to prove herself while Rossi goes after the woman he loves. Italian exploitation faces Angela Goodwin (AUTOPSY), Giancarlo Prete (MIDNIGHT BLUE), and Marino Mase (NIGHTMARE CASTLE) are prominently featured in the Italian scenes. The show makes memorable use of Simple Minds' "Waterfront" throughout.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 7 April 1989 (UK)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 5:48:53 (4% PAL speedup)

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.97 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Disc One:
� Series 1 Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 3:18:18):
� - 1.1 (4:3; 49:30)
� - 1.2 (4:3; 49:32)
� - 1.3 (4:3; 49:36)
� - 1.4 (4:3; 49:38)/

� Disc Two:
� Series 2 Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 2:30:35):
� - 2.1 (4:3; 50:32)
� - 2.2 (4:3; 49:44)
� - 2.3 (4:3; 50:20)

DVD Release Date: October 10th, 2016

Chapters 37





Simply Media affords the two series of the show a dual-layer disc each, appropriate since each series encompasses single cases. Shot on film and finished on video, the combination of grain and video noise is baked into the finished master. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono mix is fairly sedate, only really coming to life when there is gunfire, explosions, or bursts of score or source music. The optional English HoH subtitles are mostly helpful but the spellings of character names change from episode to episode and there are a few transcription errors ("I had an ulterior motive" becomes "I didn't volunteer. I had motive"). Italian dialogue during the second series is subtitled with burnt-in subtitles on a transparent grey band.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL


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