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Intimate Relations (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  6 June 1997 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 613 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 19 critic

Harold Guppy moves into the Beasley household as a lodger. Before long Mrs. Beasley falls for him and eventually ends up in his bed. Her 13-year old daughter Joyce is aware of what is ... See full summary »

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Title: Intimate Relations (1996)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marjorie
...
Harold
Matthew Walker ...
Stanley
Laura Sadler ...
Joyce
...
Deirdre
...
Maurice
...
Iris Guppy
James Aiden ...
George
Michael Bertenshaw ...
Mr. Pugh
Judy Clifton ...
Mrs. Fox-Davies
Christopher Cook ...
Deirdre's Baby
Candace Hallinan ...
Pauline
Charles Hart ...
Hotel Receptionist
George Hart ...
Car Vendor
...
Pamela
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Storyline

Harold Guppy moves into the Beasley household as a lodger. Before long Mrs. Beasley falls for him and eventually ends up in his bed. Her 13-year old daughter Joyce is aware of what is happening and threatens to tell Mr. Beasley unless she is also allowed share the bed with Harold and "Mum". "Mum" seems to think there is no harm in this, as long as Joyce doesn't take part in the physical activities. Harold gets caught up in a web of deceit and blackmail and each time he tries to break free of the grasp of "Mum" she threatens to tell the police that he has been abusing Joyce. The film continues much in this line, and it examines the effect of the relationship on both Harold and Joyce and how they are both driven to extreme action because of the influence of Mrs. Beasley. Written by SNC <sile@physics.unimelb.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the Spring of 1956, in a quaint little town, a crime took place, that shocked a nation... This is the true story. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for distrubing sexual situations, a scene of related violence and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bed & Breakfast - Die Miete zahlt der Tod  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,918 (USA) (6 June 1997)

Gross:

$7,100 (USA) (19 September 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Nicholas Hoult. See more »

Quotes

Harold Guppy: Don't worry about me. I was just a bit of a rapscallion when I was 10.
See more »

Soundtracks

Come On-a My House
Written by Ross Bagdasarian and William Saroyan
Performed by Rosemary Clooney
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User Reviews

Will stand the test of time.
7 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Brilliantly accomplished descent into a domestic suburban normality whose 50's banality masks the dysfunctional morbidity of a household which is an almost Ortonesque symposium of 'inappropriate behaviour'. Except that the black humour turns to a sense of hysteria. Even the last attempt by the sexually triangulated characters to escape the emotional miasma of their huis-clos by pic-nicing in the countryside is tragically doomed.

Ultimately, they destroy each other in a distinctly incestuous and furious resolution by people hopelessly isolated from decent society, beyond the pale of ordinary acceptance, forgiveness, or indeed of any possible closure but that of death.

Horrific and disgusting - most definitely.

But infinitely pitiable, as well, and a tragedy of truly Greek proportions, reminding us that the respectable shibboleths of civilised morality, such as 'Mum' constantly employs in her sententious middle-class way to 'shore against the ruins' of a collapsing private world, are not necessarily sufficient to guard us against our own flawed nature. The drama in this film has a Sophoclean power, and leaves us humbled and cleansed by the spectacle of puny individuals destroyed by forces greater than themselves.

We shudder at the spectacle, and are perhaps purified thereby of the temptation to indulge too readily our own baser natures. In Greek terms, we learn a new respect for the gods that rule over our mortal nature.

The dramatisation of such awe and pity restores us to our right mind. This is a very unusual object for a contemporary film: So often it is the 'authenticity' of transgression which is lauded and extolled in modern culture, no matter what the cost. Perhaps this film is seen by modern audiences as in some sense therefore 'reactionary' in its revulsion from the fate of its characters, who are seen by the writer and director in Classical terms as having been trapped and destroyed, rather than as having achieved any meaningful selfhood? Not for this director the typically adolescent Romanticism that so admires the supreme perversity of self-immolation. It is not that he condemns his characters for their weakness, or even that he harps particularly upon their evil natures, for he does neither, choosing instead to regret the selfishness, the solipsism, that has excluded them from the human family. Much as Mankind in general is excluded from the innocence of its early, Edenic, dreams by the psychological burden of a self-consciousness that actually is the guilty sense of being regarded as having drawn attention to the Self: The whole psychological evolution of modern man seems to demand that we must constantly seek to submerge our sense of the obtruding and distracting self to our sense of the Other. Whereas, in 'Mum''s household rebellious emotions finally overwhelm all pretence of domesticity, and the world beyond their walls, for them, ceases to be of any relevance or significance, and therefore becomes absolutely untenable and unsustainable. There is no 'consequence-free' zone where they may be permitted to go off and begin new lives, in any conceivably more sympathetic milieu: As much as in Arthur Penn's film of 'Bonnie & Clyde' these are lives driven to their own destruction by their own interior demons. They are by no means the exemplary free spirits that some might wish them to represent. Quite the opposite - they are the damned. They are a lesson, and a warning.

It is possibly for just such conceptual offence against the reckless modern creed of untrammeled and indulged Individualism that this film has been punished at the box-office, upon its release. It is made a more important film thereby, and will stand the test of time, that destroys the transient glamour of fashion.

All the acting is very fine, but Julie Walters gives a phenomenal performance. Altogether a great piece of work.


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The end? elena-lanz
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