The Go-Between (1971)

GP  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  18 June 1971 (France)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,325 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 22 critic

Tale of torrid and forbidden love between Christie and Bates in the English countryside.



(screenplay), (based on the novel: "The Go-Between" by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Margaret Leighton ...
Mr. Maudsley
Simon Hume-Kendall ...
Amaryllis Garnett ...
Kate (as Amaryllis Garnet)
Keith Buckley ...
John Rees ...
Gordon Richardson ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 June 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Budbäraren  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gary Warren was interviewed for the role of Marcus. See more »


It has been reported by sharp-eyed viewers that in the Tombland scene in Norwich, there is a shop window behind the action which reflects an image of the camera crew. See more »


Referenced in Thirtysomething: The Go Between (1990) See more »


Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes
(1889) (uncredited)
From the Savoy Opera "The Gondoliers"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by William S. Gilbert
Performed by Alan Bates
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the greatest films ever
15 November 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Of course, it is all a matter of personal taste. However this film captures the painful endurance of Leo as his country collapses towards war, a rigid society faces its own internal turmoil and Leo is stripped of his innocence before he is ready.

Set during a blistering summer before the First World War in which Leo stays with the wealthy family of a schoolfriend, the story revolves around Leo's new acquaintances amongst the adults of the family and their circle of socialites (his friend is confined to bed with measles). Leo is drawn into acting as a messenger between Marian and Ted Burgess, a local yeoman farmer.

Beneath the surface is a compelling tension that encompasses Marian, her suitor (Viscount Trimmingham), Ted Burgess and Marian's mother. All of this is witnessed by Leo who has to deal with his burgeoning but still confused understanding of the situation and his own schoolboy affections for Marian.

The story boils to a climax when the oppressive summer finally breaks and the dramatic revelations violently alter the course of personal lives, society and England.

35 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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