7.4/10
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34 user 22 critic

The Go-Between (1971)

A tale of torrid and forbidden love between a couple in the English countryside.

Director:

Writers:

(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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Leo
...
Mr. Maudsley
...
...
Simon Hume-Kendall ...
Denys
...
Charles
Amaryllis Garnett ...
Kate (as Amaryllis Garnet)
...
Stubbs
John Rees ...
Blunt
Gordon Richardson ...
Rector
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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

Taglines:

This Year's Grand Prize Winner at the Cannes Film Festival

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Budbäraren  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scotland-born actress Deborah Kerr was originally cast as Mrs Maudsley but withdrew after director Joseph Losey left her waiting several hours in a hotel for his return call. The part in the end was cast with English actress Margaret Leighton. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the parishioners are going to church, the bells can be heard ringing Plain Bob Minor, a six-bell method. But when the scene changes to the interior of the church, only four men are seen, heaving laboriously on the ropes. Change ringing requires the sally (the coloured fluffy portion) to be pulled fully down and allowed to rise high up, then the rope is pulled down again by the tail end (hand-stroke and back-stroke), but the tail ends of the ropes are all knotted up. The men are only chiming the bells, not performing full-circle change ringing. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Le Messager (The Go-Between) (Thème Du Film)
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great acting, fine script, overblown music, disappointing direction
21 February 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film ought to be better than it is, because it has a lot going for it. The third in a trilogy of movies about the English class system, it benefits like its predecessors (The Accident and The Servant) from a well crafted, highly literate script by Harold Pinter. The house it is largely set in and around - Melton Constable - looks stunning, very different from its present sad condition. It benefits from a stellar cast of actors, some of the best in the UK at the time. Julie Christie looks absolutely gorgeous, at her best, and Margaret Leighton turns in a dazzling performance as the embattled and indignant matriarch. So where does it fall down? It lacks tension to start with. Losey's direction is lacklustre, just look at the cinematography in some of the longer, interior scenes, it's basically painting by numbers. The whole film is languid, like the hot Norfolk summer it is set in. The colour print has not worn well. And the music is inappropriate for both tone and plot, all jangling piano, far too loud and intrusive. Still, it's worth watching for the recreation of rural England pre-1914. This is so well done, albeit a tad over the top at times in the playing up of class differences (especially in the cricket match)


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