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Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

 -  Drama  -  8 September 1971 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,043 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 33 critic

Divorced working woman Alex and well-to-do Jewish family doctor Daniel Hirsh share not only the same answering service but also the favours of young Bob Elkin who bed-hops between them as ... See full summary »

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Title: Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Alex Greville
...
Bob Elkin
...
Mrs. Greville
Tony Britton ...
George Harding
Maurice Denham ...
Mr. Greville
...
Answering Service Lady
Vivian Pickles ...
Alva Hodson
Frank Windsor ...
Bill Hodson
Thomas Baptiste ...
Prof. Johns
Richard Pearson ...
Patient
June Brown ...
Woman Patient
Hannah Norbert ...
Daniel's Mother
Harold Goldblatt ...
Daniel's Father
Marie Burke ...
Aunt Astrid
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Storyline

Divorced working woman Alex and well-to-do Jewish family doctor Daniel Hirsh share not only the same answering service but also the favours of young Bob Elkin who bed-hops between them as the mood takes him. Both Alex and Dr Hirsh are aware of the other's existence but prefer to live with the situation rather than risk losing Elkin completely. But a wet winter weekend in London can be difficult. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's about three decent people. They will break your heart.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

8 September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un dimanche comme les autres  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of scenes that had been filmed with Ian Bannen were not re-shot some performers listed on cast breakdown (kept by BFI special Collections) were not rehired to film their roles with Peter Finch. See more »

Quotes

Voice of party guest: Here come those tired old tits again...
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Connections

Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Soave sia il vento
(from opera "Così fan tutte" No. 10 Terzettino)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Pilar Lorengar, Yvonne Minton and Barry McDaniel
See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating character study
25 June 2003 | by (Brick, NJ) – See all my reviews

Is it better to share a lover than to have none at all? This is the central question of John Schlesinger's Sunday Bloody Sunday, a study of the lives of two people, a gay middle-aged Jewish doctor (Peter Finch) and a thirtyish employment aide (Glenda Jackson), who are romantically intertwined with a boyish artist (Murray Head) who treats them both with a dismissive interest.

The aspect of the story that immediately flies against film convention is that both are aware of the other lover's existence (instead of the mystery leading to some climactic discovery at the end). The film cuts from Finch to Jackson in their daily routines and private moments in dealing with the situation: Jackson (slightly desperate), Finch (occasionally frustrated but cool). What is extraordinary is the depth Schlesinger brings to these characters,the disappointment, the loneliness, the silent longing, the too-rare passion.

Much is made of the on-screen kiss between Finch and Head, probably semi-shocking in 1971, now not only palpable but expected. Yet there are so many scenes of simple beauty: Finch assuring a worried patient he doesn't have cancer, Jackson discussing the pain of being in love with her mother, who is in her own pain in a dysfunctional marriage, Finch being robbed by an ex-lover, Jackson commiserating with a fifty-something unemployed executive at the office (they go to bed later). Head, as the flighty lover, seems to be in a constant state of jilting; he leaves Jackson flat in the middle of a "romantic weekend" to visit Finch; later, he bails out on Finch when a party of theirs gets out of control. The imagery is great, and pure Schlesinger (although less effective than that in Midnight Cowboy). The internal workings of the telephone is a terrific shot, and so is the hallucination/fantasy of Jackson, imagining the girl dead instead of the dog, then flashing back to a childhood fear realized in a dream. When Head leaves them both at the end to go to America on a whim, the characters are left to ponder a life without love. Jackson strains to understand in a beautifully acted scene- her line about it being hard work to care a lot for someone is the most touching. Finch is more well-adjusted and content with developments, as he makes clear in a speech directly to the camera, another nice touch. Finch and Jackson are brilliant in the roles, Murray Head acceptable, but less satisfying, and Peggy Ashcroft has a moment as Jackson's mother. This is just short of being a great Schlesinger picture, but still a very good, intelligent one. 3*** 1/2 out of 4


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