epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Raffles (1977) Review, Part 3

The Raffles stories were meant to subvert the glamour of the gentleman thief but they didn’t quite work. This TV show did no subverting at all. Raffles overcomes moral ambivalency with his all conquering personality. Yes he is dark and morally uncertain but his elegance and loyalty to Bunny makes this show work. That and Raffles' wicked laughter and hints of madness. He is more then a light fingered klepto.

However in the stories Raffles psychologically dominated Bunny and exploited and abused him. Bunny was not so much Raffles’ sidekick as his victim and was pathetically submissive. If the show had portrayed their relationship like that, it would never have worked.

The Last Laugh
Isn’t Bunny a bit old to be still using his old school nickname? What is his real name anyway? Raffles feels like stealing Italian court jewels from the Italian ambassador Count Corbucci. A maid named Faustina (Marina Sirtis of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’) who wears too much mascara also catches his eye. Bunny looks appalled.

Raffles thieves, Faustina assists. Mackenzie lurks and has Raffles and Bunny strip searched off screen. Raffles fawns over the wooden Faustina. Raffles is reckless and is tied up and menaced by an overly complicated death trap as a result. Bunny saves him thanks to an overly complicated note. Someone dies and this was dull.

What is Raffles background? If he is not rich how did he attend a public school? Who are his people? Was Faberge known in 1897 London? Where did Raffles get handcuffs? The Albany doorman has to know what is going on.

Best Lines:
Mr Arthur Raffles and, er, friend.”

“Awfully risky.”
“Awfully tempting.”

“I hate the rich because I’m not one of them.”

“Just go over into the far corner and start a fight.”

“We’ll have you stripped naked and search every inch of your clothing.”

“I never enjoyed so much being stripped naked by a policeman.”

A Trap To Catch a Cracksman
Bunny and Raffles are invited to the home of Barney Maguire a loud American boxing champion. Maguire and his secretary Jethro show off Maguire’s belongings including a silver statue and a gold brick. He also boasts of how he has a trap to catch any cracksmen who break into his house. Raffles decides he has to burgle Maguire on principle.

So he disguises himself as a well hard chav and breaks in and promptly gets caught by the trap. Bunny has to save the day. So he rushes to the house as Jethro, a prozzie and Maguire come home. Maguire just won a boxing match and hasn’t a mark on him. Maguire finds Raffles and makes ugly threats. The trap is revealed as something utterly ridiculous.

Luckily Bunny and Raffles escape, avoid suspicion and end up back at Raffles bachelor apartments in the Albany basking in the excitement of getting one over on Maguire and the police. This was very good and the writers and actors could not have been unaware of the subtext. Bunny boxed at school? In the stories he edited the school newspaper and did Raffles homework.

Best Lines:
“We must practise economy and a free dinner is not to be despised.”

“But what, you monster of ingratitude?”

“You need to have your feelings of greed and envy sharpened, whetted like a knife.”

“They’re the revolutionist’s dream of the undeserving rich.”

“I knew this was a poor country but are you paid as bad as that?”

“He’s a boxer. I’m a slow bowler.”

“If you hadn’t spoken up slick like that, I would have bust your face in.”

“Why, it’d knock a man out even better than one of my fists.”

“I daren’t let him in there. It’s full of half the silver you’ve pinched. Family silver but it’s certainly not my family.”

“You’ve been entered in the night sir.”

“I’ll help you Bunny. I think I’ve seen everything you’ve got at one time or another.”

“There’s some very queer fish at the International Sporting Club sir.”
Tags: raffles, star trek

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