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Longford Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Tough questions in strong prison-forgiveness tale.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that a subplot involves Lord Longford's investigations into the effects of pornography, and he is shown personally visiting adult bookstores, a peep show with topless dancers, and reading through pornographic magazines. There is rough language in a prison setting, with use of "s--t" and "f--k." A true-life child-killing murder spree is discussed (thankfully, not in gory forensic detail) as the ultimate in ghastly horror, and scenes of the vengeful parents are apparently actual news clips. A key character smokes frequently; it is shown to have dire effects on her health, though. The DVD, originally a movie for British TV, carries a "TV-MA" rating.

  • Families can talk about the themes of spirituality and forgiveness. Was Lord Longford wrong for believing that Myra was worthy of clemency? Does he actually bring about a change in her by the end? What about his other work with prisoners, and his assertion that Myra Hindley got unnecessarily harsh treatment mainly because of her gender? You can talk in general terms about taking a moral stand for an unpopular person or cause. Are there more movies or news stories about this that you can think of?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Even though this can be taken as a cautionary tale, about Lord Longford's being too forgiving and trusting, he still comes across as a strong example of an upper-class gentleman who tries to use his high position and advantages in life to make a better existence for society's worst outcasts and sinners. Also, the largely unrepentant Hindley and Brady aren't glamorized, as fictional serial killers have come to be.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: We never see anything, though there is talk of past murders and threats of retaliation killing.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Toplessness, suggestive dancing and glimpses of naked centerfolds in pornographic magazines, during Lord Longford's anti-porn investigation. Allusions to sexual components in the serial killers' relationships and their victims, but we're spared clinical details.

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" and "s--t" in the prison environment, plus a woman is called a "bitch."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: A few references to British TV programs, books, and magazines of the era.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Myra Hindley chain smokes (ultimately it impacts her health severely, though she still doesn't quit). Social drinking.