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Go-Between (The Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Michael Redgrave, Dominic Guard, Edward Fox
  • Directors: Joseph Losey
  • Format: Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English, German, Spanish
  • Subtitles: German, Spanish, Dutch
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Feb. 2010
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BC9Z0G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,312 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Julie Christie stars in this screen adaptation of the classic novel by L.P. Hartley. A young teenage boy, Leo, is invited to a wealthy school friend's rich family estate and is drawn into a love affair between his friend's twenty-something sister, Marian, and the family neighbour, even though she is engaged to be married. She uses Leo as a go-between, sending messages to her lover. Despite feeling he is betraying her fiance Hugh, Leo carries on being the messager boy and discovers more about the attraction between men and women along the way. NOTE:The 2010 release has now become the 2013 release in terms of identification. As it was not withdrawn and re-released there has no ‘official’ 2013 release date.

From Amazon.co.uk

Writer Harold Pinter and director Joseph Losey always hoped to make an adaptation of Proust's A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Their version of L.P. Hartley's novel The Go-Between offers tantalising hints as to how the Proust film might have turned out. An old man (Michael Redgrave) thinks back to a summer many years before when, as a young boy, he stayed with the aristocratic Maudsley family in their beautiful house in the Norfolk countryside. On the threshold of adolescence, intensely curious about sex, he became the go-between for Marian Maudsley (Julie Christie) and local farmer Ted Burgess (Alan Bates) as they conducted an affair behind the backs of the Maudsley family.

This is a slow-moving but beguiling story of lost innocence. There's a subtlety and intelligence here rarely found in British costume dramas. The filmmakers go to enormous lengths to recreate Edwardian England, but never allow the period detail to stifle the storytelling. Although life with the Maudsleys seems idyllic--an endless round of picnics, cricket matches and parties--there is always an undercurrent of violence. The Maudsleys are inveterate snobs. The terrifying Mrs Maudsley (played by Margaret Leighton) simply can't countenance the idea that her daughter would have an affair with a man so far beneath her on the social scale as Burgess. The little boy carries the messages between the lovers without ever quite understanding how explosive their contents are. --Geoffrey Macnab --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By GRP TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Dec. 2015
Format: DVD
The Go-Between is a 1971 British romantic drama with a screenplay by Harold Pinter. It is an adaptation of the 1953 novel by L. P. Hartley. The story follows an innocent young 12/13 year old boy named Leo Colston, who in the year 1900 is invited by a wealthy school friend, Marcus Maudsley, to spend the summer holidays at a very grand Norfolk country house occupied by his family and their many servants.

While Leo is there he finds himself becoming a messenger (go-between) carrying clandestine messages between Marcus's older sister, Marian Maudsley played by the beautiful Julie Christie, and a farmer neighbour, Ted Burgess played by Alan Bates with whom she is secretly in love. Leo is enchanted by Marian, and so the story gently unfolds with the naive young Leo's dilemma and his rude awakening to the crudities of the adult world; an experience that we learn will affect him for the rest of his life.

The film portrays the injustice of the class system in British society with far more subtlety than many period dramas. The Go Between is a film of delicate nuances and is an entrancing, engaging work pervaded by a feeling of sadness. I was struck by the heady, unsettling and claustrophobic atmosphere that the film manages to create, it’s a ticking time bomb. You somehow know what is going to happen, you just don't know how or when.

'The Past is Another Country, they do things differently there', is a quotation from the book spoken at the opening of the film, and it does indeed speak volumes about this story of wealth, privilege and respectable society in the period and its impact in this tragic tale of lost innocence, forbidden love, heartbreak and loss.

The film has beautiful locations and sets (you can feel the intense Summer heat) benefiting from great cinematography, a good film score and beautiful period costumes.
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Just the ticket - arrived safe, sound and promptly - Thanks
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very good
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Doesn't anyone here have anything to say about the special features? The interview with Losey's son? The interview with the cinematographer, Gerry Fisher? The interview with Patricia Losey?

Decidedly, these reviews are full of spectacular ambiguity. Is the transfer bad? Is the transfer good? Was the original movie full screen? (I saw it in Paris, it wasn't.)

For myself, I'm waiting for the movie to be released in Region 1 so that all this confusion can be ended.
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Yes, it is a pity that the movie is not presented in its intended theatrical aspect ratio 1.85. But to make it clear it is not presented in "butchered 1.33 to fit conventional TV screens" or a "TV-friendly crop of the original wide-screen movie" either. The movie is presented in its original open matte format, which means it was shot in conventional 1.33 to fit TV screens. For theatrical release the picture was then cropped at the top and the bottom, a common practice since the Fifties. So the picture is nothing missing here as the other reviewers suggest. Instead, it shows more information at the top and the bottom than the theatrical release. Just for the record.
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I watched this film a year ago, and it's taken me that long to find the strength to write a review of it. It really hit me between the temples. Mostly because I found the themes of arrested adolescence, an idyllic English setting, thwarted love, childhood fantasy and loneliness as well as mystical intrigue, very familiar. Cyril Connolly writes how English men find the experiences at their boarding schools so overwhelming they never really come to terms with adulthood, and he has a strong case.

This film has all the ingredients of a troubled life - a beautiful but insensitive woman, who inspires rapturous fantasy - a bunch of emotional cardboard cutouts and the class system, mix that up with cricket, summer heat and a stately home and you can see that its about what the rest of the world find so puzzling about us.
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This is a superb film, unfolding at a moodily languid pace and portraying the injustice of the class system in British society with far more subtlety than most period films. It is a film for intelligent viewers who can appreciate the accumulation of hints and nuances that support this through line. Alan Bates is superb, and Julie Christie is also very well cast. Though he only appears at the end, Michael Redgrave is mesmeric as the haunted bachelor asked to once more walk into the trauma of his youth. This youth involved carrying illicit notes between a young aristocratic single woman (Christie) and a tenant farmer on her family's land (Bates). The interplay of these characters is fascinating, owing much to Joseph Losey's restrained elegant direction and Harold Pinter's taut screenplay. Though I have not read the L.P. Hartley novel on which this is based, I am now very much encouraged to do so.

Unfortunately, though the back of the DVD case claims that the aspect ratio is 1.85, the film is presented in a butchered 1.33 to fit conventional TV screens. Hopefully a more meticulous release will come out at some stage, as the film really is a masterpiece that deserves to be seen as originally intended and shot.
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'The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there '
The opening sentence of the novel , is spoken in voice over by the pivotal character Leo at the opening of this elegaic film. The young Leo (Dominic Guard) arrives at the grand estate of the Maudsley's in 1900s Norfolk. This famous line is an epitaph for the older Leo ( Michael Redgrave) who looks back to a time when he still had a life of his own ahead of him.
In acting as a Go - Between , a ' postman ' between the rivals for the love of Marian Maudsley (Julie Christie) the young Leo is lost in a world he was only ever permitted to partially enter. During the hot summer he stays in the Maudsley household he himself comes of age and falls in love with Marian. He is entrapped in taking messages from the palatial but sterile country house to another world beyond the gardens to a wilder place, the cottage of Ted Burgess (Alan Bates). As the summer breaks so does the illicit relationship between Marian and Ted and the expected marriage of Marian and Lord Trimingham (Edward Fox ) proceeds.

In a film made slightly earlier , 1967, Far from the Madding Crowd, set in Hardy's Victorian West Country Bathsheba Everdene ( played by Julie Christie) is also pursued by three very different suitors from clashing worlds of place and class.

The Go - Between, directed by Joesph Losey 1971 is an entrancing , engaging film pervaded by a feel of sadness. In a Pinteresque script, by Harold Pinter, the punctuation of flashbacks from the older Leo intimate almost wordlessly that the story will not end happily, that Leo's glimpse of happiness as transient as his substitution in a local cricket match . As in 'Far from...' the references to farm mechanisation also give a 'cusp' feel to the setting.

The excellent score by Michel Legrand elegantly augments this atmosphere of the lost time and place.
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