Two separate people, a man and a woman, find something very stirring about the sea turtles in their tank at the London Zoo. They meet and form an odd, but sympathetic camaraderie as they ... See full summary »
In 1920s Ireland, an elderly couple reside over a tired country estate. Living with them are their high-spirited niece, their Oxford student nephew, and married house guests, who are trying... See full summary »
Already three trustees of the Van Traylen fund have died during the last months, looking like suicides. However after a mysterious accident of a bus with the last three trustees and 30 ... See full summary »
A raw depiction of the Belfast 'troubles' as savage tribal warfare. Set shortly after the 1975 cease fire, the film focuses on the tribulations of Kenny, Protestant leader of a group of ... See full summary »
Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three... See full summary »
Britain's top pop artiste, Tom Pickle, travels to Bombay, India, circa 1960s to learn to play the sitar (musical instrument) from renowned maestro Ustad Zafar Khan. Tom is taken to Zafar's ... See full summary »
Made for TV movie revolving around the lives of three young women as they deal with the incidents around them. Along the way they find romance and become swept up in family intrigue. Events... See full summary »
Poland is under communist rule. An exiled Polish theater director is in England, enthusiastically preparing an abstract play which will criticize the authoritarian Polish government. His sons might not share his political views, though.
Two young boys from very different backgrounds become friends in 1933 Stuttgart. However, they don't realize how different they are until much later as one is the son of a well-to-do Jewish... See full summary »
Lady Caroline Faye meets Lord Vane Brecon and is attracted to him. When she finds out that he is being accused of a murder he did not commit, she sets out to prove him innocent, and takes a... See full summary »
During the Second World War, an entire battle front developed in the field of espionage. "Fall from Grace" is the story of one young woman and how, after joining the British Secret Service,... See full summary »
Its Cheap Sunday Costume Drama Look Undermines An Otherwise Excellent, Low-Key, Pinter-Scripted Spy Thriller From An Interesting And Original Feminine Perspective
The Heat Of The Day is based on the novel by Elizabeth Bowen, set during a sweltering, stifling summer in London as World War II rages on. However, from the first scene, when Michael Gambon's enigmatic Harrison approaches Patricia Hodge's bemused Stella with an air of calculated menace, this TV film adaptation unmistakably bears the mark of Harold Pinter with its sense of growing, but suppressed, unease.
An important aspect of Pinter's film work, mirroring his work for theatre, is obsessed with the balance of power between people in relationships, particularly in inter-class relationships. Moreover, this is an understated balance of power, as communication becomes more concerned with muddying the water, thus obscuring the real situation.
In The Heat Of The Day, the common-looking, hefty Harrison quickly establishes an unlikely and unconventional relationship with the beautiful and well born Stella, a relationship with a balance of power weighed favourably towards him. This is because Harrison tells her that her high-powered lover, Robert, played by Michael York, is a spy and that he is the only one who can keep him from infamy and jail. It is clear what Harrison wants in return, but is he actually who he says he is? How does she find out while needing to stay discreet, in case Harrison is genuine and Robert really is a spy?
This is one of Pinter's better screenplays and the top-notch cast is on form. The Heat Of The Day is a low-key, subtle, contained, high-quality psychological thriller from an interesting and original feminine perspective. The fact that it was made for Independent British Television may be its problem. The film seems to have been made on a far too low budget and looks, therefore, stagy and old-fashioned, and could easily be dismissed as 1980's Sunday afternoon costume drama if it didn't have such an unquestionably subtle script and flair in its acting.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?