The Go-Between DVD
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Directed by Joseph Losey
Produced in 1970
Main Language -
Countries & Regions - British Film
Like the blind men and the elephant, Joseph Losey is a film director you may view a variety of different ways according to which of his film you have seen. At one end of the scale, you have stylish crime dramas (like The Sleeping Tiger, an early movie Losey filmed under the pseudonym Victor Hanbury), dizzying flights of intellectual fancy (such as the daring and decadent Eva, filmed in 1962 and starring Jeane Moreau) and complex and sexually ambiguous melodrama (in the shape of The Servant, Losey's first collaboration with Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter); at the other end of the scale, you have both the sublime (in the shape of the vastly under-rated Mia Farrow / Elizabeth Taylor double-header Secret Ceremony) and the ridiculous (take your pick of Boom!, Modesty Blaise or The Assassination of Trotsky). Regarded by many as Losey's last great masterpiece in an otherwise greatly chequered career, The Go-Between sits very definitely in the former camp than the latter.
Reuniting with Pinter for the third and final time (the pair also worked up Accident in between The Servant and The Go-Between) to adapt the stately novel by LP Hartley, the film once more concerns itself, as many of Losey's better films did, with the relationships between the classes and, more particularly, the relationship between men of one class and women of another.
The Go-Between of the title is Leo, a young boy invited to summer with his chum Marcus, a wealthy classmate, in the family's grand home in rural Norfolk. Introduced to Marcus' sister Marian (a glacial Julie Christie), herself engaged to be wed to all round good egg Hugh (played with a waspish charm by Edward Fox) - it isn't long before Leo is caught up in all manner of illicit carrying on, transporting messages between Marian and neighbouring rake, Ted Burgess (Alan Bates playing the commoner card for all he's worth). Of course, Leo's naivety is quickly worn down and replaced by a dissembling edge and the lovers are, pretty much from the outset, on a course for disaster.
Beautifully filmed, with an understated (and unexpected, given who the director is) eye for detail, The Go-Between is best approached as a precursor of Kubrick's superior Barry Lyndon. Also worth noting is the driving score by Michael LeGrand, considered by many to be among the greatest film scores of all time.
Peter Wild on 18th December 2006
Author of 99 reviews
Adaptation of the novel by L P Hartley, scripted by Harold Pinter. Seen through the eyes of a young boy, a love affair between the daughter of an affluent rural family and a local farmer is cruelly thwarted by the class prejudice and convention. Beautifully photographed and strongly atmospheric.
Publisher: Optimum Releasing
Length: 111 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 22nd January 2007
Cat No: OPTD0709
- Open matte version.
by DavidLeanFan on 22nd June 2009
'The past is a different country, they speak a different language there.' The opening line to LP Hartley's classic novel and Joseph Losey's acclaimed adaptation of the... Read on
'The past is a different country, they speak a different language there.' The opening line to LP Hartley's classic novel and Joseph Losey's acclaimed adaptation of the nostalgic and inevitabley tragic book. Dominic gaurd plays Leo, a young boy who spends the summer at the house of a school friend and becomes the Go'Between of Marion and Ted, the beautiful lady of the house and the farmer. Their forbidden love mystifies and intruiges the boy and he is locked into the deal that if he carries their letters, Ted will divulge some of the secrets of the adult world. The tension mounts along with the unbearable heat and,on Leo's birthday, is broken by a storm. Marion's mother can take the pretence no more and drags Leo out in the rain towards a group of farm buldings. She is shocked and disturbed to see her daughter and Ted Burgess in the hay loft and tries to cover Leo's eyes. We know that the act of her hand across his face will not help. He has discovered the answer to his questions prematurely. Hide
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