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Circle of Two (1981)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  November 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 362 users  
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
Robin Gammell ...
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


True love knows no bounds. 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?


Final film of director Jules Dassin. See more »


Sarah Norton: Have you thought about going to bed with me?
Ashley St. Clair: Yes.
Sarah Norton: [walks over to the bed] Let's.
Ashley St. Clair: Obviously, no.
Sarah Norton: Why? Is it because you think I'm a virgin? Because if you think I am...
Ashley St. Clair: You are.
Sarah Norton: I am.
See more »


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


Carmina Burana
by Carl Orff
Copyright 1937, renewed 1965,
used by permission of B. Schott's Söhne, Meinz, Germany.
Performed by The Bishop Strachan School Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

A lovely story, eloquently told...
21 January 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

The relationship between a burnt-out painter of 60 and the schoolgirl who inspires him to start working again. She falls for him, he keeps her at arm's length, but the strain of pubescent desire is too much and she starts to crack. Tatum O'Neal is lovely in this film. She's not a lazy actress, she simply doesn't ham it up like today's teen players. The sequence where she hopes to seduce painter Richard Burton by disrobing in his studio is quite sad (she wants to surprise him, he surprises her by getting angry). The scene with Tatum and Richard hanging out with a group of her school-friends is wonderful (none of the girls judge him or second-guess her) and O'Neal is sweet promising to return to Burton as quickly as she can ("I'll break all speed records!" she tells him). There are no "Lolita" overtones here. Tatum plays a fairly normal teenager who develops a crush on a fascinating man who is much older. Her heart is bound to get broken, and Burton tries his best to steer her through this. It's a simple, no-frills Canadian drama that will appeal to romantics and young women who may have experienced a crush like this along the way. **1/2 from ****

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