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Longford (2006) Online

Longford (2006) Online
Original Title :
Genre :
Movie / Biography / Crime / Drama / Romance
Year :
Directror :
Tom Hooper
Cast :
Lee Boardman,Jim Broadbent,Tam Dean Burn
Writer :
Peter Morgan
Type :
Time :
1h 33min
Rating :
Longford (2006) Online

Biopic of Lord Longford, known for many years for his work with prisoners and prisoners rights in general. The film focuses on Longford's work on behalf of Myra Hindley convicted, along with her boyfriend Ian Brady, of several child murders. Hindley is nothing short of notorious and even Longord's wife is shocked when he announces that he will visit her in prison. When Prime Minister Harold Wilson removes him as the Government Leader in the House of Lords soon after his visits to Hindley are made public, Longford continues to work for her release. A devout convert to Roman Catholicism, Longford sees hope for Hindley when he learns that she too once converted to Catholicism. In the end, his campaign to get her released on parole is for naught when she reveals that other murders took place. Longford stood by his convictions however and never regretted the good work he had done over a great many years.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Boardman Lee Boardman - Talk Show Host
Jim Broadbent Jim Broadbent - Lord Longford
Tam Dean Burn Tam Dean Burn - Roy
Lindsay Duncan Lindsay Duncan - Lady Elizabeth Longford
Kate Miles Kate Miles - Rachel Pakenham
Sarah Crowden Sarah Crowden - Lady Tree
Robert Pugh Robert Pugh - Harold Wilson
Caroline Clegg Caroline Clegg - Longford's Secretary
Samantha Morton Samantha Morton - Myra Hindley
Alex Blake Alex Blake - Paddy Pakenham
Roy Barber Roy Barber - Father Kahle
Ian Connaughton Ian Connaughton - Reporter
Charlotte West-Oram Charlotte West-Oram - Downing Street Secretary (as Charlotte West Oram)
Roy Carruthers Roy Carruthers - Albany Prison Officer
Andy Serkis Andy Serkis - Ian Brady

To look as much as possible like the real Lord Longford, Jim Broadbent wore a prosthetic nose and chin that took two hours to apply each day. A prison guard who had known the real Lord Longford was once very startled when Broadbent entered the prison door in costume. To make himself walk very slowly and lamely when Longford sees Myra Hindley for the last time in the movie (when the character is 92 years old), Broadbent put small, painful stones inside his shoes.

User reviews



I thought this was one of the most powerful pieces of television drama I have seen for a long time. It rates up there both in content, production and fantastic casting and acting with the wonderful Conspiracy (Ken Branagh and others a few years back). I wonder if Longford may come to be seen as Jim Broadbent's finest portrayal. It bears many more than one viewings and I think (as I did of an earlier drama programme this year about the Moors Murders) that it is brave and correct for skilled directors/writers etc to tackle this incredibly difficult subject. Well done to all involved and I look forward to the next project coming from this talented team.


This surely is one of the best made for TV dramas you are likely to see, superbly written and featuring a stunning performance from Jim Broadbent as Lord Longford. I had only ever regarded Longford as an eccentric old fool until watching this film which reveals what great humanity and compassion the man had. He finds Myra Hindley does not appear to be the monster the media built her up to be and Longford believes there may be some good in her but she is eventually shown to be as devious and manipulative as Ian Brady said she was. Brady is portrayed by Andy Serkis in a performance of incredibly raw and shocking power and you are left in no doubt that the only place for this dangerous man is behind bars, away from the public at large. It is only when Longford finds out he has been deceived that he finally listens to a copy of the infamous tape of the murders that has been sent to him anonymously through the post and thereafter he begins to question his own faith. Towards the end of both their lives Longford meets Hindley once more and in a truly shocking scene Hindley reveals her own spirituality and repentance, although not in the manner that he or anyone else could have expected. The film mixes documentary film with staged scenes to great effect and feels thoroughly authentic, capturing the era to perfection. I came away from this film feeling great admiration for this man, who may have been misled, but who only had good in his heart and did not know the meaning of hate.


The Myra Hindley/Ian Brady Moors murders of 1963, one of the most heinous crimes in England since Jack the Ripper, has been beautifully transcribed to the screen by writer Peter Morgan and Director Tom Hooper. And though the story is basically about Longford's relationship with the incarcerated Myra Hindley, the film paints a rather complete portrait of a strange man who vacillated during his lifetime among religious beliefs and spoke out strongly for the rights of prisoners and 'unfortunates' who fall out of line with the law all the while riling against pornography and other vices.

Jim Broadbent creates a wholly credible Lord Longford in this amazing performance. Transformed physically to resemble Longford's bizarre appearance, Broadbent manages to convey the spectrum of trust, self-doubt, pity, outrage, compassion and blind religious belief in a manner few actors could match. The remainder of the cast is equally excellent: Samantha Morton finds every nook and cranny of the enigmatic murderess Myra while Andy Serkis gives a chilling depiction of Ian Brady, her accomplice who knew how to manipulate the government and people as well as the infamously wily Myra.

The story is in many ways grounded by the strong forces of Lady Longford (beautifully realized by Lindsay Duncan) and the Lady Tree of Sarah Crowden and Harold Wilson of Robert Pugh. Hooper knows how to magnify the class differences between the gentry and the working class and his choices of locations and pacing of confrontations both in the prison and in the home and in the court are spot on.

This is one of those films for television that teaches us what really fine films can still be. It is a tremendously moving piece of work and Jim Broadbent will long be remember for this classic role. Highly recommended for repeated viewing. Grady Harp


We should, it is said, forgive but not forget. But some deeds are so monstrous that we can only forgive by forgetting. In some senses, no murderer deserves to ever be let out of jail. But we, as civilised humans, achieve nothing but our own degradation by keeping old people who offer no further threat to society imprisoned; and forgetting may be the only we way can square this circle. But Myra Hindley's crimes were never forgotten, partly because they were peculiarly horrible, but also because she became a hate figure for the popular press. Logically, Hindely has the same rights to be at least considered for parole as any other prisoner; but no politician was ever going to end their careers by demanding it. None, except for Lord Longford, an elderly, egotistical do-gooder with a spectacular capacity for making bad calls. The common belief, supported at least in part by this film, is that manipulative Hindley played Longford for all he was worth. And yet the principles that hard cases make bad law and that justice is not vengeance are surely important and right. But a more pragmatic (or less messianic) figure might have chosen an easier terrain on which to fight this battle.

In this biopic of Longford, Jim Broadbent captures the man's physical characteristics perfectly, although the voice is still his own. Samantha Morton, always a brave actress, keeps her cards close to her chest as Hindley. Though generally following received wisdom, it's overall effect is cautiously sympathetic to Longford, and encourages one to think again about the meaning of justice, maybe more effectively than Longford himself did.


'Longford' is the coming of age masterpiece of television and film director Tom Hooper. In it a transformed Jim Broadbent becomes walking-self-caricature Lord Longford, the famous, perhaps infamous, campaigner for civil rights and early release for prisoners - most notably Myra Hindley, the female murderer of five schoolchildren in Yorkshire, England in the 1960s.

Samantha Morton is Hindley, tightrope walking above potential seduction and deception of Longford as well as possibly very real repentance. Longford himself is viewed as a man perhaps blinded by Hindley's charms who may be equally as guilty of manipulating her plight in a hobbyist fashion.

Andy Serkis encapsulates the mythical monster and the man that is Ian Brady, yet still the film as a whole carries with it the seed of forgiveness as the way forward in the judiciary and paints the heart of mob rule as blackly as perhaps the hearts of the Moors murderers in fact were.

A compelling film, with no easy answers, and the showcase of some of the most magnetic acting performances ever lensed.


The UK has certainly had its share of serial murders, probably none more popular than one of the first, Jack the Ripper. This story involves a series of crimes, the moores murders, and the two perps, Ian Brady and Myra Hendley who, acting in concert, dispatched more than five young kids in the most bestial fashion and buried them in the Lancashire moores. Suffer the little children.

Of Brady we can say that there's only the slightest doubt that he suffered from what is now called anti-social personality disorder, unsocialized type. He was a Class A psychopath from his childhood onward, a characterological descendant of the Kallikaks and the Jukes.

Myra Hindley is a question mark. Of course there have been women who have killed with evident pleasure, as she did, judging from photographs taken during and after the crimes. But women murderers are less often into brutality and more often into soft murders by poison. And, more often than taking physical form, the least amiable express their cruelty in verbal form or in small punishments of subordinates. (These ridiculous generalizations come to you courtesy of the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution!) They also show a tendency to be attracted to men of power and potency, as in the Stockholm syndrome. And some of the more twisted seem to be willing accomplices to brutal men. Myra Hindley, whatever her motives, served some 36 years in prison. Caril Ann Fugate served 18 before being released.

But this isn't the story of Brady and Hindley anyway. It's the story of Longford, one of those iconoclastic British eccentrics, a member of the House of Lords, an anti-pornography crusader, a Catholic, and a fervent supporter of Myra Hindley's quest for parole. He was in middle age by the time her case came to his attention and there was speculation that, well, maybe there was more to his involvement than mere humanitarianism. It would be understandable. Myra wasn't bad looking and she evidently could present quite a convincing case for herself. Still, his motivation was probably pure enough. He'd visited many prisoners before Myra and continued to visit them for the rest of his life.

He was a devout man, and his faith seems to have both sustained him and served as a trap. "Hate the sin, love the sinner," Longford says. And when it turned out that Manipulative Myra had played him like a fish on a light line, "finding Jesus" as so many inmates do, lying to Longford repeatedly, failing in an attempted escape when he seemed to be neglecting her, dismissing him when he was no longer of use to her, Longford never blamed anyone but himself for the suffering he'd brought about.

Jim Broadbent, as Longford, is superb. He looks crazy. But his performance could hardly be improved upon. The usual legal thriller has a hero or heroine who defends an innocent person who's been convicted of a crime by an evil system -- and gets him or her off. Here's a story of a man who sacrifices his reputation for the sake of someone who's unworthy of that sacrifice. Yet the movie explores him without condemning him or making him look foolish. Longford may or may not be a hero. Hindley's motives are left murky and the final meeting of the two is friendly enough, even warm. It's not a story of good and evil, just a story of mistakes. That's what makes it a film deserving of adult attention. Kids weaned on slasher movies will find it boring because it's all talk. People with more sophistication will have a better understanding of what the characters are going through.


A TV film about the later life of the Lord Longford and his association with one of the countries most notorious murderesses: Myra Hindley.

I really like these (UK) 90 minute "factions" based on recent events: The Government Inspector, A Very Social Secretary and now this. Three great productions and just as good and as well made as anything shown in the cinema proper. This is what we (the British) are good at - quality acting and serious subjects. Not sure what the HBO viewers across the pond are going to make it though. Will they catch on like we do? Without the background social history?

This Jim Broadbent's (as Lord Longford) finest hour - he'll never get a part that suits him as much as this one. Hits the mark totally as the crusty old ostrich whose politics, religion and beliefs remained fluid throughout his life.

Myra Hindley was the most hated person in British history. The worst kind of killer and psychopath, someone who was played the system her whole life and told people what they wanted to hear. I am sure without partner in crime Ian Brady she would not have killed - but she showed little remorse when an audio tape was played of the pair of them murdering and abusing a little girl in court. For her everything was a joke or a game. A self server of the first rank.

Longford was putty in her hands. The classic upper-class silver spooner (from Eton to Oxford - the old public shool cliché) who knows nothing about working class life, no matter the evil minds that can torture little children for kicks and then bury them on moorland. She even did the driving given Brady hadn't a license.

Longford believed in change and reform. Even for Hindley. Few did and certainly not the government who would have been stoned had they not kept her behind barbed wire. The public might even have lynched her if she got out. In the end she had a kind of semi-independence behind bars - not that this is demonstrated well here.

The former leader of the House of Lords was not a bad man. Let us not forget that. Forgiveness is part of the scriptures and he carried that belief in his heart throughout his later life. He was not mad - but misguided and perhaps even curious about the people that lived on the dark side of life. As we all are. Who knows if he was in love with Hindley (he might have been) or got a sexual kick out of her. Sexuality is a strange thing and works in strange ways.

Two of the main characters (of this production) are dead and the other (Brady) is certified mad and will never be released. Nor does he want to be. So there is nothing more to tell. Just a long fade out.

What this production tells me is that is easier to be fair when you are an occasional tourist. When you can retreat to your large house and your big garden and contemplate evil at a safe distance. The people he wanted to help deserved their fate of being locked up with a bowl for a toilet - but beyond that they deserved to shown that society has standards that are not there's. Longford did that at least.


STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

A TV drama exploring the relationship between notorious 'Moors Murderer' Myra Hindley (Samantha Morton) and Lord Longford (Jim Broadbent) who campaigned for her early release, only to put her on the backburner for a few years in which he went on a crusade against pornography and for her to cruelly throw his efforts back in his face after admitting to two other murders in 1987.

Being the 40th anniversary of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady's conviction for the 'Moors Murders', fresh interest has arisen in the case and TV producers want to re-create the events to fit in with the anniversary. We've already had ITV's See No Evil, which explored Myra Hindley's relationship with Ian Brady and how they ended up being brought to trial, and this is actually something of a follow-up to that film because it sort of continues the story where Hindley's been in jail for a few years and she begins using Longford to help win her early parole, right up to her and Brady's confession to the two other murders in the late 80s.

It's never easy viewing, but it's always interesting and compelling and keeps you riveted right up to the end. And the impressive performances do it no harm. Samantha Morton creates a cold but strangely vulnerable and mildly sympathetic Hindley. She might come out as a bit outspoken in real life but she's played her role well here. Broadbent is well into his role too, as the gullible but well intentioned man with the courage of his convictions. I know a lot of people will disagree with me but I actually thought Andy Serkis as Ian Brady was the one off note with the film. He makes him come off like a corny Hollywood kind of villain and compared with Johnathan Harris's quietly haunting portrayal of him in See No Evil, he just seems rather hammy. The film isn't about him anyway, and luckily he's only really a supporting role.

Not an easy view then, but a well made one, with strong performances and compelling characters. ****


******some spoilers********

I live across the pond and watched this on HBO. I taped it and watched it a couple times. Had to go to wikipedia to look up some background stuff. But, someone from Britain who commented wondered if we would get it. I got it! And the acting was magnificent.

Jim Broadbent was unbelievable and accomplished the most important thing an actor can. I believed him. I saw the compassion of the man (although misguided at times) it seems that Lord Longford was always true to himself and his beliefs.

Samantha Morton was so good that I was feeling sympathy for her character for some of the movie. That sympathy left me in the scene when she reveals to Lord Longford, the truth. It was chilling.

I always feel that movies can no longer surprise or shock me...so when she tells Lord Longford at the end of the movie "evil can be a spiritual experience, too", I was FLOORED!! So powerful, and unexpected! I noticed also, that her character changed looks like a chameleon. This was a neat trick as it gave us warnings that her internal self was also a chameleon.

Tragic, senseless, and heartbreaking murders! What was the motive? I cannot fathom it.

Bravo! And keep sending your quality projects over...gives me something to watch! And they took home a few Emmys for this one...I was rooting for them!


Plans to finally sit down and watch the Rules of the Game by Jean Renoir went by the wayside when I fell into the HBO movie Longford. This is the story of Lord Longford working to try to get Myra Hindley out of prison for child murder. I was vaguely aware of the story prior to seeing the film, but I wasn't really prepared for the twists and turns. Clearly its not about what it seems to be about at first, namely getting an abused woman out of prison. It is ultimately about something else entirely, namely a story about dealing with the mistakes one makes, the ability to change and the ability to forgive. The cast is first rate with Jim Broadbent outstanding as Longford the odd Lord who champions Hindley's case when everyone tells him otherwise. Andy Serkis as Ian Brady, Hindley's lover and co-conspirator is particularly slimy and evil. I really liked this movie a great deal. Forgive me this is one of those movies thats better if you just see it since its just so damn interesting I don't want to spoil it.


Are there people who are more evil than the rest of us ? Are there people who are more good than the rest of us ?

Lord Longford, upon whom this movie is based, spent a good deal of his time trying to help prisoners in England. He eventually takes up the cause of Myra Hindley, who along with Ian Brady was convicted of torturing and murdering children children in the Manchester area of England and burying their bodies on the nearby Moors in the early 1960's.

Longford, himself a convert to Catholicism, believes that Myra, having returned to her childhood Catholicism, has the right to be considered to being paroled and petitions/protests upon her behalf.

Longford seems somewhat naive in his dealing with those who are more inclined to evil than he is, but he is not naive about how egotistical humans can be.

The acting and writing are superb - only wished the film had been longer so that we could understand Myra and Ian more, if that is possible.


A disturbing yet intelligent look inside the head of Lord Frank Longford and his support of one of Britain's most sadistic and brutal child killers. Jim Broadbent gives an outstanding performance as the eccentric Lord and allows us to feel for the vulnerable nature of his constant belief that everyone can be forgiven.

Sam Morton also gives a great performance as the sympathetic but calculating moors murderess. All in all this was a great production and seriously debated whether a man like Longford should be supported or called foolish. My only criticism is that Myra was portrayed just a little too kindly...then again I didn't know her....but Longford did.


first and foremost i would like to commend everyone involved in this project for their incredibly well-crafted delivery.

i'm quite certain that many people in the united states do not realize how the British react when they hear the name Myra hindley. to say her notoriety is on par with that of Charles Manson may give them some insight. no one can fathom how or why true evil burns at some point in the hearts of men and women. when crimes such as the ones hindley and Brady are committed...we want to know why. and many times we can never find an answer that makes sense. this film is not trying to seek an answer to those questions. nor is it trying to portray the families of the poor murdered children as vengeful and filled with murderous longing. it is simply human nature to want to seek revenge on those who have wronged us. what this film conveys above all is that we can all rise above the pain and evil in this world and seek a peace either with god or simply within our own souls. we can try to remember that there is the potential for good everywhere. sometimes it alludes us for longer than we expect but when we keep looking for it - eventually we can find some glimmer of hope.

Myra hindley and Ian Brady committed horrific acts for which they were deservedly punished. i do not necessarily believe that Myra should have been paroled. most likely that would have resulted in her own murder by someone who was confused, hurt and afraid of her and what she had done. and the cycle of violence would continue onward.

what i do believe is that no one has the authority to take another human life. the case of Derek Bentley is proof enough of that (and the reason why the UK has outlawed executions)

forgiveness is a bitter pill to swallow - a horse pill, if you will. but its benefits are innumerable. if we apply what lord longford attempted to do with Myra hindley to our own lives, our own wrongs, the wrongs perpetrated upon us by others and learn to forgive - even if we can't forget. we may well be much better off in the end.

i am also reminded of the instant forgiveness shown by the Pennsylvania Amish community towards the madman who recently killed so many of their little girls. they have already started rebuilding their community - they have hope because they have embraced forgiveness and if that's the one thing this film has conveyed - it has been a success indeed.


This is a brave and accomplished piece of work, thoughtful and engrossing throughout. Not since reading about Mary Bell have I been so moved to think and feel about so-called evil girls and women, with the cross currents between do-gooders and evil-doers so expertly explored.

Of course Jim Broadbent was brilliant as Lord Longford. But Myra Hindley was also played with incredible subtlety and power. As for Ian Brady he was magnificent, bursting through my TV screen like a combination of Sade and Heathcliff.

There was a lot of hinterland to all this which raised the film above mere docufiction. Hindley under the influence of Brady told us that "evil can be a spiritual experience too". The shadow of the Divine Marquis as well as Baudelaire's FLEURS DU MAL hung over this production. You can and will think what you like about all this, but for me the main message was neither the portrait of a psychopath nor the bumbling career of Longford, but the demonisation of the woman criminal and the ghastly nature of public opinion in its lynching mood.

Men can be evil psychopaths and sometimes get parole, but the great British public will always need a female monster as their ultimate totem of evil. Judaeo-Christian culture's obsession with Eve (=Evil) demands no less than this scandalous superstition. Later our country had the intelligence and courage to release Mary Bell. Myra Hindley was left to rot in gaol, her only solace the Open University.

Congratulations to director Tom Hooper and to channel four for reminding us of all this.


Kudos to the Peter Morgan for demonstrating in Longford that wanting desperately to believe that people and situations are other than what they are--truly has consequences. Longford physically and emotionally sets aside a tape that would have ended his illusions (and quest) of Mira's innocence. In an attempt to win back her husband's affections, Longford's wife blindly joined her husband's less than rational campaign. In effect doing for herself what Longford was doing with Mira, jumping headlong in to a fantasy in order to gain affection. Perhaps, and it's likely, this same neediness played a role in Ian and Mira's co-dependent relationship? That sad irony is one of the reasons this powerful film stays with you.

Sociopaths possess a power and influence unparalleled in evil and magnetism. I personally do not believe in Mira's capability to feel remorse which is how she cunningly manipulated the willing to her defense. As for Ian Brady, I believe he intrinsically realizes that if he ever did leave the confines of prison that his life would be in danger. So he remains, not out of guilt, but rather self-protection as any narcissist would choose.


HBO has done it again and produced a film of superior quality. The films generally produced by HBO fall into the category of excellent independent movies except with much larger budgets that give them notable stars and superior production values. The DVD's that come from this cable channel are gifts to anyone who enjoys quality motion pictures.

Longford spans about forty years in the life of Frank Pakenham who was the 7th Earl of Longford. Pakenham was a very colorful character. He was basically conservative although one of his causes was examination of the treatment and sentences of criminals. He became notorious in England during the 1960's and 70's by calling for the release of Myra Hindley who - with her sadistic boyfriend - tortured and murdered five children during the years 1963-65.

Pakenham became convinced that Hindley was a basically innocent girl who came under the evil influence of her boyfriend Ian Brady. Pakenham visited Hindley numerous times in prison and convinced her to return to her religion. She totally convinced him that she was regretful of her part in the murders, and he vigorously campaigned for her parole.

All the while, Hindley was communicating with Brady and it soon came to light that she was basically pulling the wool over the eyes of a gullible man - Pakenham.

Disillusioned, Pakenham began to direct his efforts to the Nationwide Festival of Light which was a program of protest against commercial exploitation of sex and violence in Britain. Even though disillusioned, Pakenham stayed in contact with Hindley until his death in 2001.

Giving full credit to the superior production values, it is the acting in Longford that makes it an extreme pleasure.

Jim Broadbent is Lord Longford. I use "is" rather than "plays" because it appears that - from what I can determine - Broadbent so captured the personality and appearance of Longford that he even astounded those connected with the production who knew the real man. Broadbent shows us a man who is definitely a "kook" but one to be admired. He is a man who is so compassionate of his convictions that you cannot not like him even if his opinions are totally counter to your own.

Samantha Morton (nominated for an Emmy for this part) is outstanding as Myra Hindley, a woman who shows a surface of innocence above layers and layers of neurosis and evil. Viewing her interpretation of Hindley is fascinating.

Andy Serkis chills you to the bone as Ian Brady. It appears that Brady has been pretty much of a bad seed his entire life, and Serkis shows us that seed in full bloom. His is a performance not easily forgotten.

Longford is an enthralling character study of an equally enthralling real-life character. It is grand entertainment.


This is a brilliant drama-documentary featuring outstanding performances from Jim Broadbent (as Lord Longford), Samantha Morton (as the infamous Myra Hindley) and Andy Serkis (as the sinister Ian Brady).

Jim Broadbent excellently portrays the honest yet diffident, protector of lost causes, Lord Longford, making incredible railway pilgramages to various prisons throughout the land to see various monsters now in jail. He lives down in Etchingham, on the beautiful Tunbridge Wells Hastings railway line, yet never learned to drive. You can imagine what a trek it would be to Carlisle, up near Scotland.

If you like this, you'll like The Last Hangman (also 2006), about the sick executioner, Pierrepoint. Also, This is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper (1999).


I can't tell you how much I loved Longford. It succeeds wonderfully as a character study and powerful and compelling drama from start to finish. The production values are superb, shot in a haunting visual style that really works with Longford's tone. The story is never less than compelling, and the writing is absolutely outstanding, in fact in regards to the writing I'd go as far to say it is among some of the best writing I've heard in a TV drama of recent times. Add some strong direction, strongly-written characters(Hindley is quite ambiguous in characterisation here and it works) and crisp pacing and you have almost all the ingredients of a mighty fine drama. Longford further benefits from brilliant acting, particularly from Jim Broadbent and a deliciously ambiguous Samantha Morton. Andy Serkis is also compellingly psychotic and Lindsay Duncan gives another fine performance. Overall, a powerful and brilliantly acted drama. 10/10 Bethany Cox


...as the absolute buffoon many people presumed him to be. Perhaps there was no getting away from it, but Broadbent's performance did indeed depict Longford as a dithering, pig-headed old man who didn't care to consider the feelings of the victims' families, nor the possibility that Myra was making a prize pratt out of him. Some viewers might actually believe there was 'depth' to this story, but frankly I think those viewers would be reading something into the programme that just isn't there.

It's amazing how one-dimensional the characterizations seem to be. Nearly all of Longford's detractors are depicted as simple minded boors who only want one thing - for Hindley and Brady to rot in jail. And oh yes, the programme makers seem to think that the parents of Hindley and Brady's victims are also boors, since the only time we ever hear a peep out of them is when they talk about wanting to kill Hindley and Brady for revenge. So much the better to justify Longford's bleatings about how 'the mob' must not be allowed to decide whether Myra should be denied parole for ever and ever.

Unfortunately for the programme makers, Longford also comes across as being just as one-dimensional as those boors, just that he has a different opinion to theirs. You could say that the programme shows him wrestling with his conscience, as to whether he should or shouldn't help Myra...and you would be wrong, since Longford walks away from and shuts down every opportunity he's given to actually think about what he's doing. Someone mentions the tapes the Moors murderers made where they recorded the deaths of their victims, Longford goes out into the garden to see if it's still sunny out. He's given one of those tapes to listen to, that tape goes into a drawer where it sits for several years. Longford's going to help Myra, no matter what.

What's just as bad as the drama's opinion of Longford's detractors are intimations that we the viewer are supposed to endorse and sympathise with this wilfully ignorant behaviour. The programme begins with Longford appearing on a radio talk show, which in itself is a warning sign for what's coming next. He's been invited to talk about a book he's recently written, but none of the callers want to talk about that, of course. And each and every one of them are rude, belligerent, insensitive. At one point, when Longford is being heckled for his support of Myra, he shoots a breaking-the-fourth-wall glance to camera, as if to say, 'can you believe these people!' A question he asks not of anyone in attendance, but of you, the viewer.

The only character who's given more than one 'dimension' is Longford's wife, and it's also telling how the writer does so. It's very simple. She starts of as being as adamantly against Myra getting parole as any other boor, and then...she changes her mind, and starts backing her husband. You can just see Longford jumping for joy inside when his wife 'sees the light', so to speak. Possibly because it means that for the first time (in his life, quite possibly) he can tell himself, 'I'm not a buffoon! I'm not a buffoon!'


it is a biopic. not an ordinary one. fascinating, touching, strange, delicate exploration of details.in same measure, it is a great occasion for Jim Broadbent to show more than a silhouette but to do not exactly a character portrait but picture of a form to transform worlds. sure, it is a story about Don Quijote avatar. and a beautiful moral lesson about vulnerability, ideal, good intentions, fall. all in a special manner. all as delicate nuances of a testimony. an extraordinary story about good intentions heart. and about idealism as only form to define reality. a film. almost amazing. and extraordinary art of a great actor.


Lord Longford was a devout Catholic who tried to live by the principles of his faith, including loving the sinner while hating her sins. This creed is given the ultimate test when he chooses to campaign on behalf of Moors Murderer Myra Hindley, believing she has a right to parole the same as other prisoners. However, as family members, colleagues, families of the victims, media and even Ian Brady remind him, she is not like 'other prisoners'. In fact, she may just destroy him.

Jim Broadbent is magnetic in a career best as the naive, or divinely enlightened, peer. Samantha Morton holds back in a chilling, almost one-note portrayal of a woman whose psychology to this day remains a mystery. Her smile-less expression hints darkly at the deeds she has committed. This hint reaches its fruition in the playing of an audio tape made by the killers. The playing of the tape is left mostly off-screen, giving full reign to the terror of the audiences' imagination.

Peter Morgan's script drives the intensity of the narrative, distilling motivation down to two questions - how sincere is Hindley in her show of repentance? And can Longford's faith survive if she proves unworthy of his trust and effort?

Hindley and Brady still fascinate and appall in Britain today. Some crimes change the nation, forcing a collective loss of innocence, and the Moors Murders are one such case for the UK. The consequences for the individuals involved, and the wider social ripples, are perfectly captured here. The period is evoked in detail through sophisticated set design and the use of library footage. This film is a small masterpiece in its genre that deserves to be much better known.


It is factual that Myra Hindley and Ian Brady kidnapped, tortured, molested, and murdered 5 children between the ages of 10 and 17 in the 1960s. At trial they were found guilty in 1965 and sentenced to life in prison.

This movie is largely about Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford, more commonly referred to as Lord Longford, played superbly by Jim Broadbent. Lord Longford, a devout Roman Catholic, had a long running ministry to visit prisoners, and he believed that it was possible for hardened criminals to rehabilitate themselves.

Lord Longford received an unlikely request for a visit from Samantha Morton as the convicted killer Myra Hindley. In their visit she was surprised to find out that she might be eligible for parole after 18 or 20 years, and thereafter she worked hard, with his assistance, to try and make that happen.

The most likely explanation for the whole story told here is that Lord Longford got taken in by Myra's ruse. While she was convincing him that she wasn't really a bad person, and had been "under a spell" of Ian's, she really was the unremorseful murderer that most of the public thought she was.

Lindsay Duncan (of "A Year in Provence") is Lord Longford's wife, Lady Elizabeth Longford. Andy Serkis is spot on as the evil Ian Brady, incarcerated in a different prison.

Overall a very interesting and effective drama, with first-rate acting.


I was only a boy at the time of the Moors Murders, so remember very little about them. However, this film has made me want to find out more, especially about Myra Hindley, who was portrayed in this film almost like a brunette Marylin Monroe. She captivated everybody and made them fall in love with her, possibly even Lord Longford.

The performances by all the main characters were first class, especially Jim Broadbent as Lord Longford, and Samantha Morton as Myra. Compared to Charlize Theron who, almost literally, turned herself into a monster for "Monster", Samantha Morton played Myra as a very attractive woman, but equally evil. The way the film was made, even at the end I didn't know who was "really guilty" Brady or Myra. Andy Serkis as Brady made a compelling psychopath, whereas Myra's part was far more ambiguous. Linsday Duncan was brilliant, as ever, as Lady Longford


Longford has to be one of the best British drama/films i have seen in a long time. With famous faces such as Jim Broadbent, Andy Serkis and Samantha Morton. Everything about this piece was fantastic, Jim Broadbent was perfect as Lord Longford he hit the nail on the head not only did he look like Longford but he was just spot on, his acting talents for this piece were praised when he won a BAFTA for best actor. Anyway Andy Serkis delivered a perfect performance as Ian Brady even though he had to portray a most evil and sinister character he pulled it off perfectly, in my opinion he stole the show. And Samantha Morton was fantastic as Myra Hindley she made you feel some what sorry for her character at points but then Andy reminded us she was an extremely evil person. I would recommend this to anyone but mainly to people who were around when this happened. I give it 10 stars as it was FANTASTIC


Knockout film made for HBO starring Jim Broadbent, as a retired legislator, who with his very liberal beliefs, takes on the cause to pardon a child killer played by Samantha Morton.

Broadbent and Ms. Morton have never been better. In fact, these performances are probably the best of their respective careers.

Broadbent, as Lord Longford, has for years visited prisoners in jail. He soon discovers that he and Morton are both converts to Catholicism.

First incurring the wrath of his wife, the latter later joins him on his mission.

The film is a definite belief in rehabilitation of the most hardened criminal. The eye for an eye tooth for a tooth principle doesn't belong here.

Despite public outcry and his ultimate betrayal by the Morton character, Lord Longford, who died at 95, always felt that he did the right thing by advocating Myra's pardoning.

This is definitely a film promoting social consciousness. Did you know that in England that all child-killers had been paroled as they were males? Of course, this did not apply to Morton and her lover, both of whom killed several children.