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Summer 1900: Queen Victoria's last and the summer Leo turns 13. He's the guest of Marcus, a wealthy classmate, at a grand home in rural Norfolk. Leo is befriended by Marian, Marcus's twenty-something sister, a beauty about to be engaged to Hugh, a viscount and good fellow. Marian buys Leo a forest-green suit, takes him on walks, and asks him to carry messages to and from their neighbor, Ted Burgess, a bit of a rake. Leo is soon dissembling, realizes he's betraying Hugh, but continues as the go-between nonetheless, asking adults naive questions about the attractions of men and women. Can an affair between neighbors stay secret for long? And how does innocence end? Written by
In 1900 Norfolk, England, twelve-year-old Dominic Guard (as Leo Colston) goes to spend the summer at the beautiful country estate of blond school chum Richard Gibson (as Marcus Maudsley). The lads have fun wrestling while young Mr. Guard gets to know his pal's family. His chief interest is young Mr. Gibson's alluring sister Julie Christie (as Marian). An extremely beautiful woman, Ms. Christie arouses those "coming of age" feelings in Guard. She makes a "fuss" over Guard, dressing a knee wound and buying him a new suit. While Gibson is bedridden with measles, Guard is coerced into delivering love notes as "The Go-Between" for Christie and hunky neighboring farmer Alan Bates (as Ted Burgess)...
But, Christie is engaged to Edward Fox (as Hugh Trimingham), a member of her own social class. As Guard experiences his own sexual awakenings, he becomes conflicted about continuing to deliver the love notes, especially as he genuinely likes Christie and both of the men she is involved with. This story of sex and class has some major problems - like the underwritten villainess played by Margaret Leighton, the parallel witchcraft being practiced by the protagonist, and the sputtering "flash-forward" ending. But, "The Go-Between" is a spectacular-looking film, with cinematographer Gerry Fisher and the crew making it well worth eyeing - and Joseph Losey leads Guard and his co-stars to fine performances.
******* The Go-Between (12/70) Joseph Losey ~ Dominic Guard, Julie Christie, Alan Bates, Richard Gibson
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