The Oxford professor of philosophy Stephen has two favorite pupils, the athletic aristocrat William and the Austrian Anna von Graz. Stephen is a frustrated man, with a negligent wife, ... See full summary »
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The Oxford professor of philosophy Stephen has two favorite pupils, the athletic aristocrat William and the Austrian Anna von Graz. Stephen is a frustrated man, with a negligent wife, Rosalind, who is pregnant of their third child, and is envious of the Oxford professor Charley that has a television show. Stephen feels attracted to Anna, but William woos her and she becomes his girlfriend. Charley has a love affair with Anna but when William dies in a car accident, she leaves Oxford to return to her home town. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
[reading from learned journal]
A statistical analysis of sexual intercourse at Colenso University, Milwaukee showed... that 70% did it in the evening, 29.9% between 2 and 4 in the afternoon and 0.1% during a lecture on Aristotle.
I'm surprised to hear that Aristotle is on the syllabus in the State of Wisconsin.
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"Accident" was a somewhat ripe little novel by Nicholas Mosley about the sex lives of dons, (of the Oxbridge type rather than the Juan or Giovanni kind). It was a good book but hardly memorable. The film that Joseph Losey made of it, however, was a different kettle of rancid fish altogether. Harold Pinter wrote the script and it's a brilliant piece of work, as acerbic, as nasty and, by God, as intelligent as any of his celebrated theatre work and Losey's direction is pitch-perfect. Perhaps no writer and director were ever quite as in simpatico as Pinter and Losey. The film is told in flashback. It opens stunningly with the accident of the title that introduces us to three of the central characters; the driver of the car, the young woman with him and the don who finds them. The driver is a young Michael York, the girl is Jacqueline Sassard and the don is Dirk Bogarde, magnificent here in a performance as fine as his work in "The Servant" or "Death in Venice". The film then jumps back in time as we meet the other characters caught up in the sexual shenanigans; Stanley Baker as another don, raffish and full of bluster where Bogarde is introverted and ineffectual and Vivien Merchant as Bogarde's pregnant wife. They, too, are superb but then everyone, no matter how small their part, is superb; everyone is there for a reason. Primarily this is a film about sexual tension and unfulfilled desires, about petty jealousies and how all this sublimated sexual longing can lead to disaster. It is a film made up of long, virtuoso passages; a drunken Sunday lunch that turns into a drunken evening of recrimination and which brings all the main characters together, Bogarde's visit to an old flame, (Delphine Seyrig), a cricket match and, of course, the crash itself and it's aftermath which is, naturally, sexual. This is great film-making, quite rare in British cinema. Paradoxically the film is among the most English and, at the same time, among the least English of pictures. Superbly photographed, too, by Gerry Fisher and with another great Johnny Dankworth score this is a masterpiece.
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