The 1972 version was a true preppy classic 2004 was not
John Knowles modern masterpiece, A Separate Peace, are one of many subtle, and subtly is the watch word, themes of love, hate, jealously, denial and regret. The 1972 version does attempt to address this style and what the book is - A love story with war looming in the background.
The 2004 version does not use subtly at all but overtness in the portrayal of the story. What is staring you in the face when you read the novel - is a love story, and yes maybe it is arguable, a gay love story. In the novel and 1972 film version there are sexual undertones everywhere in the writings and dialog.In the 2004 Showtime film version these tensions were omitted and the actors were in there late twenties playing teenagers which caused for mature acting taking away from any tenderness or hesitation of innocence in youth.
I did not like this remake for more reasons. The hair that broke the camels' back was that Phineas was given a surname on the letters he received from the draft boards! Finny is a character that does not have nor needs a last name. John Knowles did that intentionally.
Though I accept the 1972 version the acting was at times a little amateurish, so what, it attempted to be sincere to the novel by shooting on location at Phillips Exeter Academy that The Devon Acedemy was based on; which also the writer John Knowles attended as a student.
The directors and producers took all teenage Exeter students, with exception of Parker Stevenson whom attended The Brooks School, to play in a Paramount Film! Class act by preppies compared to this Canadian College shot, played with adult actors, politically correct, platonic version. No - Veto on this sham try again. The 1972 film version with John Heyl and Parker Stevenson was the real deal for A Separate Peace on the screen. The Showtime 2004 film made for cable version was not.
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