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Girl with Green Eyes More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

New Wave Washes Up On Irish Shores

Author: humanoid from Austin, Texas
31 May 2002

Long into watching this studiously "small," slice-of-life portrait of a naive young woman, I was still wondering if the film would turn out, in the end, to have been worth watching. Earnest in its desire to be grittily true-to-life, in the neo-realist manner of the Angry Young Men, it is also clearly intoxicated with the quotidian lyricism and plain-spoken poetry of la nouvelle vague. It attempts to be charming and brutally frank at the same time, and manages, to some extent, to carry it off.

But will we end up caring about Tushingham's somewhat obtuse small town escapee, or Finch's sophisticated cold fish? Or will we be left with the rather sodden sensation that we've wasted our time eavesdropping on bores? For my part, I was pleasantly surprised. The story ends with the palpable sense that Kate has grown up a bit, and Eugene has grown a little older and sadder. We've looked on as two people have lived their bittersweet lives, much as we live our own -- and we're a little sad to bid them adieu.

To sum up: not as fresh and appealing today as it probably seemed in its time, but still rewarding and worthwhile.

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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

May-December romance

Author: jotix100 from New York
4 January 2008

Desmond Davis, who had worked closely with Tony Richardson, decided to try his hand directing films. For his first effort he decided to use Edna O'Brien's novella "The Lonely Girl", which we read a long while ago, and frankly, we don't remember it well. The result was a movie that has that "English Look" of what came out of England during those years.

"Girl with Green Eyes" owes its success to Rita Tushingham, an actress that was the darling of English movie makers. She had a certain waif look that she used to her advantage in films such as this one, and in others of the same period. She holds the movie together as it's hard to take one's eyes from hers. Ms. Tushingham was not a spectacular beauty, yet she had a certain look that was appealing in her work.

Peter Finch appears as Eugene Gaillard, a man who is divorced with a child, and whose estranged wife has moved overseas. His attraction for Kate Brennan is quite understandable, yet, Eugene can't get Kate to be more than a platonic admirer, never being able to consume the passion she feels for him, and vice versa.

Also in the movie, a young and fresh Lynn Redgrave, who went to make bigger and better things on her own in the British cinema and on the stage and films in America, her adoptive country.

"Girl with Green Eyes" is worth a look for what Desmond Davis was able to accomplish in his first feature. The copy we watched recently was sadly in need of restoration.

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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Intergenerational Affair

Author: harry-76 from Cleveland, Ohio
14 January 2003

Poor Rita Tushingham--she did seem to inherit some strangely frustrating parts.

In "A Taste of Honey" she was a young pregnant girl, first abandoned by her itinerant sailor, then landing in a "relationship" with a sadly confused chap.

In "Girl with Green Hair," she's another adolescent who falls for a man twice her age. Won't she ever learn?

Director Desmond Davis' work resembles Tony Richardson's so much that their styles are almost interchangeable. It may be because Composer John Addison also scored Richardson's "A Taste of Honey," and "Loneliness of the Long Distant Runner." It's remarkable how Addison's bleakly dissonant style so greatly influences the moods of these dramas.

With Davis employing a lot of contrapuntal passages played by a thin woodwind ensemble--often featuring a solo oboe--one does feel the emptiness and loneliness of character emotions.

There was no one who embodied the "Cockney Kitchen Sink" dramas of the 60s like Tushingham. She was perfect for her parts. Here ably supported by Peter Finch as a blase older man and Lynn Redgrave as a daftly talkative friend, Tushingham plays her role to the hilt.

By the end, the viewer has come to experience a limited encounter--rather doomed from the start--between a worldly wise Dublin land owner and working class Brit girl . . . the latter of whom is finally able to move on with her education and find acquaintances more her age.

The viewer during this visit has experienced some telling scenes of Irish-English life, and an interesting adolescent/mature fling at a brief encounter.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Green Eyes in Colorful Black and White

Author: Jay Raskin from Orlando, United States
21 July 2008

The only thing I had seen before this by Desmond Davis, was the classic "Clash of the Titans." That was perhaps the best movie ever made based on ancient Greek Mythology. It was a wonderful adventure and fantasy film.

This is totally different. It is British new wave with a camera that tracks, sweeps and runs across the British/Irish countryside as gently as it tickles Rita Tushingham's large nosed, perky face. Besides the energetic cinematography and editing which is somewhere between Goddard's "Breathless" and Richard Lester's "A Hard Day's Night," we get a hard edge slice of life drama/comedy that leaps with wit and poetry. Its as good as Tushingham's earlier, similar hit, "A Taste of Honey."

Lynn Redgrave is cuter than any human being has a right to be and Peter Finch is honest and likable as Eugene, the man who wins Tushingham's confidence, if not her heart.

The point of the movie is that we all change and we even "outgrow our friends". We should accept it without getting hysterical or dramatic about it. It is a touch sad, but we move on.

In a way it belongs with "My Fair Lady," and "Educating Rita" as a picture about women becoming...

All one can say about the movie in its entirety: "Smashing!"

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Sad. Dark and very black and gray .

Author: jeromec-2 from Canada
13 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not a film where everything works out. It's sad and disagreeable in the way it does not satisfy us.

Basically a young, very vulnerable, very unworldly girl who falls in love with a very worldly worn man who has the psychic energy of a rotten discarded orange. He was naturally drawn to her. She completely misunderstands his general makeup preferring to see him as suave and debonair. She has obviously never met anyone like him. Later on in the movie we see the kind of men in her life. Her father believes in all the simple relationships between men and women. The priest has a traditional view of her behavior and offers her very traditional advice, which she chooses not only to ignore, but chooses to run from.

Near the end, we witness the breakup of the love affair between the central characters. One of the things we learn about her father's marriage is that her mother ran away all the time just so he (her father) would pursue her (her mother). She thought the same ploy would work on her lover. That's how little she understood the world of such men.

She could not understand his reaction. He was in their relationship only as long as it was idyllic. It was a very pleasant diversion, an escape from the failures of his life. He did not want any of the problems of her love because it was too confining. He was capable of making love, but not of loving.

So it ended. He with a fading memory and she with a bit of an education.

I liked Tushingham. Anyone would. It was the Peter Finch character that made the film so barren and ugly. That doesn't mean it was a bad film. It only means it was hard to enjoy and watch and feel anything but …


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

the good, the bad and the lovely

Author: nomorefog ( from Sydney, Australia
25 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I ordered this on video through my overseas mailing service and it was easy to get a hold of to rent. Starring Rita Tushingham and Peter Finch, and based upon a novel by Edna O'Brien. My mail order contact told me he was one of Rita Tushingham's old boyfriends, which impressed me very much and for some reason made me biased toward liking the film.

The film is set in Dublin and the Irish countryside nearby, where the people are, shall we say, strict about certain matters. Tushingham plays an impressionable young girl bored with her life at home on an Irish farm. She moves to Dublin and shares a flat with a best friend (wonderfully played by Lyn Redgrave). She meets and becomes attracted to Finch's sophisticated author. They have a very touching romance, much to the chagrin of the local Irish louts who consider the pair as deeply suspicious and sinners in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church. Girl With Green Eyes was shot on location in Ireland and has a wonderful feeling for the people even when they are being intolerant and brutish.

Tushingham and Finch are both appealing and bring a wonderful reality to their parts. The fate of their romance is left up in the air as Finch decides to go back to his wife and Tushingham refusing to go back to live on her father's farm, set on living her own life. In between, their relationship is portrayed with a great amount of tenderness and it is a lovely film for those of us who are romantics at heart.

Peter Finch is photographed in a particularly flattering way. He looks spectacularly handsome in this, with a swathe of grey hair and a face that has seen a lot of living. And what a marvellous voice he had, it is totally unlike any other. And lo and behold, he was also an Australian. 'Girl with Green Eyes' is a small but precious gem to be treasured and absolutely recommended if you're feeling less pre-occupied with matters of the mind, and more with matters of the heart.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

You Go, Girl!

Author: rpvanderlinden from Toronto, Canada
9 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Girl with Green Eyes" is a coming-of-age story - a nice Catholic girl has an affair with a much older man and morphs from an ugly duckling into a worldly young woman. It is set in a society which harshly condemns such things, to the point where a young woman's life is not really her own, but the property of family and Church. Shades of "The Magdalene Sisters".

Rita Tushingham plays the girl, who imagines she's good and innocent, but who's unaware of the guile and jealousy lurking inside herself. She's looking, I think, for a ticket out of her former life. Peter Finch is the man, middle-aged, separated from his wife and kid. The last thing he wants is an emotional entanglement to send his life off balance. He's protective of his privacy and tends to be a tad arch and patronizing. Sometimes he finds the girl rather juvenile. I found it interesting that the upper-crust society he's entrenched in also condemns this May-December romance, only it does so, not with pronouncements about sin, but with winks and whispers.

This movie is set in Ireland, and the moody, evocative black-and-white photography is gorgeous. It is crisp with a full palate of greys. The images were so palpable I wanted to reach out and touch the screen. The camera moves like a feather. The scene, near the end, where the girl is on the boat leaving Dublin, and the shore recedes further and further away, is a beautiful metaphor, describing the passage from one chapter of the girl's life to another.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

a picture of Ireland in the 1960-s

Author: wvisser-leusden from Netherlands
24 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The theme of 'Girl with Green Eyes' isn't new at all: a young girl has an affair with a man who could have been her father. Predictably it miscarries.

Apart from this, 'Girl' is great. Excellent acting to start with, set in a very recognizable Dublin- & Irish countryside-scenery. All shot in a pretty down-to-earth way, allowing you to identify easily.

'Girl's plot inevitably involves the Irish Roman Catholic Church, whose influence was strong in those days. Its fairly slow and uncomplicated pace is quite in tune with the 1960-s society. And its shooting in black and white supports the mood of this enjoyable film very well.

My only criticism: this picture of Ireland represents a very clean country. Having been there myself in the early Seventies, I remember a not-to-ignore lack of hygiene. In shops, in restaurant's bathrooms, as well as in many people's clothing.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The eyes have it

Author: tomsview from Sydney, Australia
12 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Seeing this film after 40-years reminded me how good Peter Finch was – just about the most worldly, in control guy you could hope to see on the screen. He seemed to get better looking as he got older, although he showed every one of his years.

Rita Tushingham got all the raves at the time, and she was a unique presence around the early 60's; it's easy to see why she had an impact on the critics, she had a look with those big eyes and mobile features – she seemed to literally devour life in her early roles.

Set in Ireland, Kate Brady (Rita Tushingham), a young country girl experiencing life for the first time in the city, has an affair with a much older man: a writer, Eugene Gaillard (Peter Finch). However, there are problems; he doesn't want to get too involved after a failed marriage, and she has inhibitions due to a suspicious father and her upbringing as a strict Roman Catholic.

This was Desmond Davis first film as director, and possibly he was influenced by the French New Wave where everything had the feeling it was photographed by accident with plenty of sharp cutting. Some of the mood changes in the film are also a bit sudden as well. When Kate's father and friends arrive from the village to save her from Eugene, the film gets an attack of the John Fords with the whole sequence treated as broad comedy with even broader Irish characters.

However there is assurance with the way the scenes of Kate and Eugene are handled. Kate although sensitive, is outspoken and often at odds with the older Eugene, she is a strong character and not as naive as he seems to think she is. Eugene makes allowances for Kate's youth, but is inclined to avoid confrontation – their exchanges are often intense, but also breezy and witty, with the odd insight thrown in.

The bedroom scenes were quite frank for the times, even if they are of the sheets around the shoulders variety. John Addison's score has a wistfulness that portends the end of the affair, a sentiment echoed in the script. At one point Eugene observes, "There's no always in human relations … people die, change, outgrow their best friends, nothing's permanent".

Awkward touches aside, this is still an engaging film. It has two charismatic stars; a touch of sadness and a life-goes-on ending that feels about right.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Finch and Tushingham deliver powerful performances

Author: Maddyclassicfilms from United Kingdom
3 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Girl With Green Eyes is directed by Desmond Davis, has a screenplay by Edna O'Brien based on her own novel and stars Peter Finch, Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave.

In 1960's Dublin shy Kate Brady (Rita Tushingham)lives with her best friend Baba (Lynn Redgrave). Baba is an outgoing party girl, whereas Kate is looking for one man to share her heart, soul and life with. She soon finds a man she feels a strong connection to, this man is Eugene Gallard(Peter Finch)a middle aged local landowner. He is attracted to her and the pair tentatively begin a friendship which later turns to romance.

Gallard is a practical man however, he knows that the difference in their age may present problems at a later date. He also knows that what seems certain today isn't always certain tomorrow. He tries to tell Kate that what they have may not last but she insists it will. Their relationship soon suffers the wrath of her father who is shocked that she is living with this man unmarried. Will they stay together or not?

Finch is excellent as a quiet man who knows his current happiness may not last but will enjoy every second that he can. Tushingham is all wide eyed innocence and soul, she's such a brilliant actress and always conveys so much just through a look.

Redgrave is a riot as the boisterous Baba and provides a great deal of comic relief. One of her best early roles.

The scenes between Gallard and Kate are tender and moving, you can see in his eyes the love he has for her and in hers the love and affection she has for him.

There is nothing disgusting about the couples age gap, you believe their love and I like how they don't instantly become romantically involved, that happens much later and we see how shy and nervous Kate is about their first time together(as any inexperienced woman would be).

A beautiful story of love and how it's not always as straightforward as some may think it to be.

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