The casting of Steve McQueen as the hero of Ibsen's play (a scientist determined to expose the pollution of a prosperous small town's water supply) threatens the worst. But his performance, together with Durning's as his brother the mayor (equally determined to put the lid on any scandal) make it fairly creditable. Sure, it's stagebound. But decent production values, and direction that preserves the suspense of Ibsen's exposition, make sure that it remains watchable until the play's own unsatisfactory last act. The only really offensive aspects are the denunciation scene, and the degeneration of the hero into an increasingly sentimentalised Christ-like martyrdom, as much the fault of the text as of McQueen's interpretation.
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