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The Return of the Soldier (1982)

PG | | Drama | 14 February 1985 (USA)
Kitty Baldry (Julie Chirstie) is a haughty society queen with a tunneled view of life. Kitty's complacency is rocked when her husband, Captain Chris Baldry (Alan Bates), returns from the ... See full summary »



Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jenny Baldry
Doctor Anderson
William Grey
Valerie Whittington ...
Patsy Byrne ...
Mrs. Plummer
Amanda Grinling ...


Kitty Baldry (Julie Chirstie) is a haughty society queen with a tunneled view of life. Kitty's complacency is rocked when her husband, Captain Chris Baldry (Alan Bates), returns from the front during the First World War shell-shocked and suffering amnesia, not knowing who she is and determined for a reunion with Margaret Grey (Glenda Jackson), a working class lover from his past. Kitty employs psychiatrist Dr. Gilbert Anderson (Ian Holm), to help unscramble her husband's feelings for the women in his new disoriented life including his all-too caring cousin Jenny (Ann-Margret), but ultimately comes to realize that the man she knew is unreachable, as dead as the past he pines for. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violent images and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A katona hazatér  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?


This is the first film in the UK to be rated by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) with the then new PG certificate classification. See more »


Referenced in Liberty Street: Return of the Soldier (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Probably Alan Bridges best film and one of the finest 1980's films ever: Please Rediscover this gem!
28 April 2012 | by (Los Angeles, usa) – See all my reviews

This expensive, mainstream UK/US co-production,backed and distributed by 20th Century Fox, was at its Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival,shamelessly overlooked! They called it a well made,TV mini-series look-a-like, overly coated with thick layers of saccharine wanna be romantic drama. Since,after such poor reviews,despite the huge international Cast,and its enchanted settings, this wonderful,delicate,yet very poignant adaptation of one of Rebecca West's more controversial novels,ever, an extremely beautifully produced, extraordinarily acted moving,psychological period story,was cursed by bad Distributions worldwide, and I finally got to see it when i was about 15, in NYC in 1984, where, again, despite a fine launch,the movie was yet very quickly dismissed by main critics. I always loved Julie Christie and Glenda Jackson,and I remember almost forcing my mother to the Theater in one late spring,chilly rainy afternoon! I was expecting a true misfire and was just interested to see the Stars, whom, as we all know too well, have chosen way too many years ago, not to work very often (however Christie had huge and rightly raved come back's in the 1990's on stage or in great films like Universal's "Dragonheart",and as the lead Queen Gertrude in the stellar, big studio rendition of Kenneth Branagh's superb "Hamlet",followed by a Best Actress Oscar nominations and Best Actress Indy Spirit Awards Winner for her mesmerizing turn in Robert Altman's production of Alan Rudolph's "Afterglow" in 1998, and then has worked in very interesting films like Hal Hartley's also underrated "No such thing" in 2001,played Brad Pitt's mother in "Troy"(2004),was excellent in the wonderfully touching,Awards winning "Finding Neverland"(2005) and had a personal triumph, as Fiona,the still beautiful,Alzhaimer's disease affected lady who forgets her husband in Sarah Polley's outstanding Awards winner "Away from Her" in 2007,while she'll be just paired opposite Robert Redford's in the much awaited big budget political thriller "The Company you keep" due out next Awards Season! And forgive me for all this extra info on Christie, but It just excites me,that we are at least be able to see her, and forever haunting and gorgeous in very selected films, at least, while,Jackson has unfortunately left the scenes,apparently for good,in the late 1980's!). Well, once the tail credits of "The Return of the Soldier" were rolling, I noticed tears on my mother's eyes, and I was like electrified. While i can understand that today,still remaining a great solid film, has lost all that mystery and unique impeccable period reconstruction, and cinematography's merits, due to the almost overwhelming abundance of period romantic drama's that followed in the 1990's, and not just from Merchant-Ivory's, but also from many others, and not always so exceptional, as they were then reviewed, you have to understand that back then,i guess in early 1984, a so classic structured film,shot with such an innovative use, of flashbacks,haunting,dark and saturated cinematography,embracing some of the loveliest possible tones of a canvas,its unique editing and also formidable scoring, were not so common! I actually truly believe that the Cult that this film has developed (mostly in Europe) has certainly inspired all those numerous British/US co-productions that became instead so wildly popular in the 1990's and,again, not all of them, as good! Mother and I were stunned, by the film, its simple yet extremely moving twist at the end, a few very dramatic revelations, just staged with almost strict attention to measure, and,of course,besides the extremely sensitive,refined work from extremely focused director Alan Bridges (here at his very,very best,both with the sophisticated,yet deeply haunting narration,to the strong-back then- lovely and personal visual choices), we were delighted by the work of all the cast: a deeply penetrating performance from Jackson,a role that only Christie's natural Iconic talent could have made even sympathetic at the end, and certainly so gorgeous to look at, an extremely controlled,measured Alan Bates,here really offering almost a new face to his whole career, and the surprise of watching adorable, Ann-Margret, without make up and playing flawlessly, against type, the role of shy, sweet,if repressed and lonely, relative,kept in the wealth of her house by Kitty(Christie),almost more like a servant,or a useful house guest, than a real close and devoted relative. I can only say that,immediately back then, we sent many people,who were not truly convinced about going to a Theater to watch this excellent movie,always calling us back to thank us for the pitch or even so emotionally touched to want to come over over tea to discuss it! And throughout the years, I always heard incredible things about it,from almost anyone's with a certain sensibility for a superior,more eloquent and artistic type of filmmaking! And i can only still highly recommend it to most people: but please,just make sure to get a greater DVD widescreen copy, and not,another TV formatted, and brutally cut for commercials copy: this is a movie, rich of its own and unique fascinating atmosphere, and like a painting, should be appreciated at its best and most respectful vision, and not in some pan and scan TV version! Enjoy.

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