1990                        Comedy thriller

       US      Colour      88mins   


    • Michael Caine Sidney Lipton / Dr Daniel Hicklar
    • Roger Moore Gerald Bradley-Smith / Sir John Bavistock
    • Sally Kirkland Willie Metcalfe
    • Deborah Barrymore Flo Fleming
    • Lee Patterson Darrell Hyde
    • Mark Burns Nigel Holden
    • Derren Nesbitt Insp Grosse
    • Deborah Leng Francesca
    • Christopher Adamson Death's Head


  • Dir:
      Michael Winner
  • Scr:
      Leslie Bricusse, Laurence Marks, Maurice Gran, from a story by Bricusse, Winner, Nick Mead



    [ b u l l e s y e ! : m o v i e  r e v i e w ]


    Classification: 15

      Bullseye! is without question the worst movie
      ever made. An unsightly wart on the face of
      cinema. The repercussions for this criminally
      awful movie from the abhorrent 'film director'
      Michael Winner reverberate to this day. Let
      me explain.

    To begin with, I have to say that in my opinion the two stars of the movie, Michael Caine and Roger Moore, are important players in the history of British cinema. I would go further and say that Caine is the biggest movie star to come from these shores if only for the reason that no other British star can hold a candle to his screen presence; and Roger Moore is the most underrated actor we have ever had: ask yourself who can do light romance and comedy as well as Moore? And has there ever been a more entertaining Bond than Moore's? I think not.

    So when the chance came along for the two great men and friends to work together, any director with a modicum of talent would have brought us a movie which would have at least entertained us. It wouldn't have failed to miss (no pun intended); if they had been given a good script and director the movie would have been a breeze. And with its no doubt success there would have been commercial sense for the two to make more movies together.

    Sadly that was not to be. The film couldn't attract a crowd into a telephone box and no producer has in the 15 years since dared put the two together.

    And for that Winner bears full responsibilty and should at the very least be impeached by the custodians of entertaiment.

    Ah, Michael Winner. Is there no beginning to his talent? More about him later but better fill you in on what is the lamest excuse for a plot known to man. Won't take long. Caine and Moore play con men who set out to steal gems from under the noses of their lookalikes. That's it. There, I've filled you in. Caine and Moore look troubled throughout as though they can't believe they've been dropped in this pile of manure. And by their bestest friend!! Oh, and dear old Winner has dropped in the most irritating in-jokes you will find which if you're not the bestest friends of the stars you will never get. How thoughtful.

    Whatabout the timeline for the making of this crime against cinemagoers? Well, Moore and Caine had been keen to find a project for them both. Moore's agent then submitted the Bullesye! script which 'writer' Leslie Bricusse had 'written' especially for them. Said rich loser Winner (pun intended):

      'It was rather like a glamourous Carry On film.'

    Er, not quite, Winner. One slight problem with that analogy is that some people find Carry On movies funny. See the problem? 'Bullseye!', 'funny', in the same sentence...there might be a law outlawing doing such a thing.

    After this movie, Winner and writer Leslie Bricusse became known as the chuckle brothers to many. 'Winner, film director? Bricusse, writer? They're having a laugh!'

    The scenes were all shot on location. The original screenplay called for principle photography to take place in Venice, but the financiers soon decided this was not possible. No doubt they thought they could go to Venice themselves and throw their own money down the drain - why let Winner have all the fun?

    And wait for it, you won't believe it, but the chuckle brothers managed to get a royal premiere for this mess! What did the royal family do to deserve that? OK, so the Queen has vast wealth, huge palaces, and nine corgis but don't you think she has earned them if the price to pay is to sit through the Chuckle Brothers' travesty to all that is good in entertainment?

    Roger Moore's daughter, Deborah appeared in it for one of the aforemntioned in-jokes and proved she is better at being Roger Moore's daughter than as a actress. Hell, she wasn't even the best Scottish Widows' model; she was just warming up the cape for Amanda Lamb!

    List of cameo performers who should hang their heads in shame include John Cleese, Patsy 'I Luv Rock' Kensit, and Jenny 'Waitrose' Seagrove.

    Winner explained what could have gone wrong with peoples' perception of the movie:

      'I think, perhaps, with Michael and Roger people expected something more important. It wasn't important, just fun'.

    No it wasn't Winner. What planet is he from? Wherever it is, the films he's making there must be brilliant (as he would no doubt tell you) but on planet earth they are woeful. And no, I honestly can't see Joe Public going to the cinema to see anything that Chuckle is involved in thinking that they are going to get their metaphysical money's worth. And if they go looking for fun then they will find that fun has left town.

    People have compared this movie to a home movie but it's not, for even the people in this movie would find it tiresome and have a pressing engagment like washing their hair if they were invited to view it. And that would be perfectly acceptable even if they were bald.

    Winner added in defence of the film:

      'Both Roger and I are a part of Michael Caine's very close circle of friends, and so there was quite a history between us all'.

    What on earth has that got to do with the movie? Winner might be in the very close circle of friends of Napoleon, Lord Bryon or Timmy Mallett but that ain't going to make him a great director. Even if Harry Houdini was his best mate he couldn't help him escape from the fact that he is the worst film director known to mankind. The fact that Winner has famous bestest friends is a source of interest to no-one but Winner and explains nothing other than that he can make dire movies with bestest friends. Stone me! Give him an award!

    What I would like to know is how did he make so much money from so much rubbish? There can't be that many morons out there dissecting the anatomy of the complex ethical debate of a vigilante lifestyle with the surgical scalpels of the Death Wish triology, can there? The one thread running through his career is that his work has been without one saving grace from start to finish. No intellect, style, substance, fun, decency...absolutely nothing. It's a Buddha thing, I suppose. The only positive is that there are no positives. Yet it's so bad it isn't even unknowingly funny.

    And no actor who seems to be Winner's bestest friend when he recalls them in the no-doubt well-paid obituary columns he writes in the Daily Mail, has anything but a blemish on his CV for working with him. Brando, Bronson, Burt Lancaster, Jimmy Stewart....all have their movie careers' tainted by the Chuckle Brother association. Winner seems to gain everytime; the memory of the stars always seems to lose out.

    Tell you what, if you can think of a worst film director or movie then e-mail me by clicking here and I'll put it up here with your reasons for your nomination. But be warned: you'll have to have an earth shattering reason for saying he/she and it are worst.

    Winner doesn't have to watch Winner.

    Thankfully, since Bullseye!, Winner has only directed two movies and the last was over five years ago. Hopefully, the cinema has seen the last of him. He does the esure commercials these days on TV with the catchphrase 'Calm down, dear, it's only a commercial'.

    But the actors won't calm down. There might be a Winner movie to follow.


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