Upon its general release on May 11th (at midday!), I thoroughly enjoyed “That Good Night”, a wonderful film, shot in the lazy sunny Algarve, with many a twist and turn, “an effortlessly brilliant final performance from the late, great Sir John Hurt “ Five stars from me!

John Hurt is impeccable to the last” Radio Times

Here is a selected impartial BFI review, [other reviews are available ]

Fans of acting legend and multi-award winner Sir John Hurt, best known for iconic roles in The Elephant Man and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (not to mention Harry Potter!), are in for a treat with the release this Friday of a poignant film starring Hurt in his last leading role before his death from cancer in 2017.

Set in the stunning hilltops of the Algarve coastline of Portugal, this life-affirming drama directed by Eric Styles (Legendary, Miss Conception) is based on the stage play by N.J. Crisp and inspired by Dylan Thomas’s famous poem, which gives the film its name. In a breathtaking final performance, Hurt plays Ralph, a once-famous screenwriter now in his 70s, who has two missions in life: to be reconciled with his son Michael (Max Brown, best known for his roles in TV dramas Spooks and The Tudors) and to ensure that he is not a burden to his devoted wife, Anna (Sofia Helin, star of the BBC TV show The Bridge), as he goes “into that good night”. Ralph hires the services of the mysterious “Visitor”, played by a smoothly sinister Charles Dance, who unexpectedly guides him to find new meaning in his life.

Oxford producer Victor Glynn, Executive Producer of the film, said,
“Working with John was always a wonderful experience. Notwithstanding his illness he was professional to the end. He enjoyed playing the role of Ralph because it is a wonderful role. He was a consummate actor and huge fun as well. He wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of working and finishing the film – not even the exhausting and gruelling chemotherapy. I am pleased and proud to have had the opportunity to work on his final film. He is fantastic in it.”

Victor Glynn is also working with his son Phin and novelist William Boyd on an adaptation of Graham Greene’s final novel, The Captain and the Enemy, whilst putting the final touches to his own screenplay, which will shortly begin production and which he describes as a “post-Brexit comedy caper”. Filming has also recently been completed on Michael Morpurgo’s Waiting for Anya, produced by Phin Glynn and executive produced by Victor. In addition to Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional) and Academy Award Winner Angelica Huston (Prizzi’s Honor) the cast is headed by Noah Schnapp one of young stars of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things.

“An effortlessly brilliant final performance from the late, great Sir John Hurt “

Here follows the poem written by Dylan Thomas that inspired the stage and screenwriters and which gives the film, “That Good Night”, its name.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.