Review: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
Blu-ray: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1982)
In this adaptation of the P. D. James novel of the same name, Pippa Guard plays Cordelia Gray; a somewhat wistful young woman training to be a Private investigator.
On finding her boss has committed suicide she decides to take on his next case by herself. Approached by Ms Leaming (ice cold Billie Whitelaw) to find out why the son of James Callender (Paul Freeman) committed suicide, Cordelia travels to the son’s house and stays there, becoming obsessed with him, till she eventually works out the mystery.
This is a film very much of good acting (particularly Billie Whitelaw, Paul Freeman) and miscast annoying acting (Pippa Guard) and overacting (Elizabeth Spriggs as the dead son’s landlady).
The story is very patchy (I haven’t read the book, but do know that the character of Cordelia is possibly a lot toughter and brighter than the one played by Pippa).
I felt there were chunks missing from it, 5 seconds here, a minute there, because the story leaps about all over the place, while Cordelia seems to investigate and work out the mystery by sitting at the dead son’s kitchen table a lot, only leaving the house to shag his grieving dad.
It does brighten up near the end when Cordelia is thrown down a well and has to shimmy her way up, magically reaching a far-out-of-reach step as if by magic.
It’s very much of the early 80s and is almost like a longer version of an old episode of Morse.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- New restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative by Powerhouse Films
- Original mono audio
- Mise-en-scène of the Crime (2022, 30 mins): writer-director Christopher Petit looks back on the origins and making of his second feature
- A Bridge Too Far (2022, 13 mins): actor Dominic Guard discusses his role and co-starring with family members
- Absolute Fascination (2022, 32 mins): producer Don Boyd provides an in-depth account of the creation of An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
- Original theatrical trailer
- VHS trailer
- Image galleries: promotional materials and rare, previously unseen unit photography
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet featuring a new essay by Claire Monk, an archival essay by Christopher Petit, production reports on the making of the film, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
- World premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 2,000 copies for the UK (4,000 copies for the world)
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.