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A Separate Peace (2004) (TV)
12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
The 1972 version was a true preppy classic 2004 was not, 8 December 2004

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.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
"It's you he wants. Offer yourself to him!", 17 November 2004

Coming from a former British colony, The Bahamas, and being educated in The United States and The United Kingdom to me Withnail & I is the classic cult film of all time in the entire English speaking world!

The dialogue and acting was brilliant. Each line can be used for so many occasions. When I was at university in London in my long haired grunch period of the early 1990's friends and I would act out scenes putting us all into stitches of laughter.

On strips to The US visiting friends at college they too knew of this classic film and got most of the English slang. A true round the world cult classic.

I saw Richard E. Grant on the stage recently in London and all I could think about while watching the play was there is Withnail!

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A class act by Exeter Academy, 20 October 2004

The 1972 film version of John Knowles modern masterpiece is a class act for the reason that Paramount Pictures went to Phillips Exeter Academy and filmed it on location with all student actors from Exeter with the exception of Parker Stevenson whom attended The Brooks School. Though the acting is a little amateurish,so what,it should be, for it is the drama society of the school and alumni putting on a Paramount Film!

John Heyl,a former Exeter Student, was eighteen and son of the school's doctor. John Heyl does a great job as Finny at the age sixteen,seventeen that Finny would have been in the novel. This was also Parker Stevenson, at eighteen, his first film and in my view his best role as Gene.

It is a good adaptation of the book but I would strongly suggest that you read the novel first for the tensions of love, hate,jealously, denial, sexual undertone, and regret are pale compared to John Knowles' writing.

It is a love story with war looming closer to the boys of The Devon Academy. The viewer decides if this love is emotional and / or physical. What else could motivate ones "Best Pal" and roommate to do such a violent act as to attempt to maim him hence excorise him (Finny) from Genes life i.e. emotions so deep that Gene could not deal with at sixteen.

I have recently viewed Showtime's 2004 version which was filmed at a college in Canada and has actors that are in there late twenties playing the parts of teenagers. No sorry - Veto! John Heyl will always be Finny and Parker Stevenson will always be Gene. The 1972 film version shot at Exeter is the true "Preppy Classic".