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The Go-Between (1970)

GP  -  Drama | Romance  -  21 September 1971 (Sweden)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,680 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 19 critic

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

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(screenplay), (based on the novel: "The Go-Between" by), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Go-Between (1970)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

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Stars: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marian - Lady Trimingham
...
Margaret Leighton ...
Mrs. Maudsley
...
Leo Colston
...
Leo
...
Mr. Maudsley
...
Hugh Trimingham
...
Marcus
Simon Hume-Kendall ...
Denys
...
Charles
Amaryllis Garnett ...
Kate (as Amaryllis Garnet)
Keith Buckley
John Rees
Gordon Richardson
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

summer | viscount | secret | message | 1900s | See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 September 1971 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Go-Between  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"The past is a foreign country."
30 September 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Invited by his upper crust classmate Marcus Maudsley to summer at his family estate thirteen year old Leo Colston is taken into confidence by Marcus's beautiful older sister Marian (Julie Christie) to act as a messenger to her illicit lover, local farmer Ted Burgess (Alan Bates.) Marian is engaged to Lord Trimingham (Edward Fox) whom Leo develops a strong liking for. This complicates matters for Leo who has the same feelings for Ted and out right affection for Marian. The child's innocence becomes a detriment however when he attempts to make sense of the adult world through inquiry of those very much involved and it holds drastic consequence for all.

Sumptuously photographed (Gerry Fisher) and magnificently costumed The Go-Between evokes an almost fairy tale milieu in it's early moments with summer in full bloom and the well heeled Maudsleys lounging in finery amid the lush green trappings of their estate. The Empire in 1900 is still sun 24/7 and the Maudleys, confident and mildly aloof, representative of that power. Seen through the adolescent eyes of Marcus we are exposed to the hypocritical trappings of class snobbery, stuffiness and rules of the game. As things begin to unravel the lush lazy days of summer become more storm ridden and the restraint and decorum of the Maudsleys frayed all of which is powerfully summed up and splendidly depicted by Director Joseph Losey in a scene that begins with Leo's birthday party with everyone festooned in paper party hats.

Losey's understated style does a nice job of slowly revealing his story for maximum effect. His use of flash forward, confusing at first, is spare but well utilized to tie lose ends together. The overall morose mood of the film is retained throughout though Lalo Schiffrin's score reeking of hysteria threatens it on more than one occasion.

Christie and Bates, Edward Fox as Twillingham and the young Dominic Guard are excellent fits in their roles but Margaret Leighton as Lady Maudsley turns on the jets as the film closes and walks away with the acting honors.


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