Circle of Two (1981)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  November 1981 (USA)
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Reviews: 15 user | 6 critic

The story of the impossible love between a schoolgirl and a 60-years old painter.



(novel), (as Thomas Hedley)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Norton
Donann Cavin ...
Elan Ross Gibson ...
Gym Teacher
Maggie Morris ...
Music Teacher
Ashley St. Clair
Larry Ewashen ...
Men at the Cinema
Mr. Norton
Patricia Collins ...
Mrs. Norton
Daisy White ...
School Secretary
George Bourne Sr. ...
Old Man
Bibi Caspari ...
Gordon Jocelyn ...
Brendan McKane ...
Man at the Terrace


In Toronto, the fifteen year-old student and aspirant writer Sarah Norton meets the sixty year old painter Ashley St. Clair in a cafeteria while hiding from her stalker boy-friend Paul. Ashley hasn't painted for ten years. He agrees to read the poems that Sarah has written. They start seeing each other at his studio and Sarah falls in love with him. Ashley feels a platonic love for Sarah that becomes his muse and he decides to paint again. Paul spies Sarah in Ashley's studio, and misunderstands their relationship, he attacks her in a cornfield but she defends herself. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Their lives would always be entwined... See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

November 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Obsession  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 5,700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The amount of time since artist Ashley St Clair (Richard Burton) had stopped painting before he met Sarah Norton (Tatum O'Neal) was ten years (when his muse left him). See more »


Ashley St. Clair: He loved her to madness; her madness and his.
See more »


Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »


Piccolo Concerto
Music by Antonio Vivaldi (as Vivaldi)
Piccolo Solo: Robert Aitken
See more »

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User Reviews

a unique love story
18 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Circle of Two stars Richard Burton and Tatum O'Neal as a 60-is artist and sixteen year old girl caught in unusual love. There both quite good here, the story is handled very tastefully. I recently re-watched this movie after many years and was pleasantly surprised at how good it really is.

Is it a great, can't miss, movie? No, but its certainly much better than its maligned reputation would have you believe. The love is pure and platonic, though sexual desire is clearly felt by both. Burton is good, often the looks of songful agony on Burton weather lined face hit you straight in the heart, he clearly realizes age is upon him and wonders at his own motives in a romantic friendship with a impressionable girl. Particulay the scene in the park, where St. Clair (Burton) tells the story of William Blake, is excellent and allegorical.

O'Neal was probably at her best here, not too far removed from her Oscar-winning performance in "Paper Moon". She certainly plays another "say-it-straight" Kid here. And she does it well.

The score for the film is quite good and really lasts with you. Sort of like "Endless Love" There is a scene of violence in the film and some tasteful nudity, still I think this is fine for mature teens and adults. If you only know Circle of Two by its unkind reviews, check it out. It's worth your time and effort to see something different.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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