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The Go-Between (1971)

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

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(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:
...
...
Ted Burgess
...
Mrs. Maudsley
...
Leo Colston
...
Leo
...
Mr. Maudsley
...
Hugh Trimingham
...
Marcus
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

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Winner of the Golden Palm Award Grand Prix Cannes Film Festival See more »

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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Dominic Guard. 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

Version of The United States Steel Hour: The Go-Between (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
"The past is a foreign country."
30 September 2010 | by 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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