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Go-Between (The Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray]
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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 As it was not withdrawn and re-released there has no ‘official’ 2013 release date.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The film is a superb classic but the print colour is poor and it lacks any subtitles or support. materialPublished 15 months ago by Blobsie
This review is for the 1971 film, not the 2015 BBC production. It’s apparently based on a novel, which I haven't read, of the same name. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Sue
I've just watched this after enjoying the latest BBC version, and found it much less satisfactory in putting across the ending. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lindosland