At Oxford, Austrian student Anna von Graz (Jacqueline Sassard) is dating fellow student William (Michael York), whom she plans to marry, but she ends up sleeping with two unhappily married Oxford professors instead.
The Oxford Professor of Philosophy Stephen (Sir Dirk Bogarde) has two favorite pupils, the athletic aristocrat William (Michael York) and the Austrian Anna von Graz (Jacqueline Sassard). Stephen is a frustrated man, with a negligent wife, Rosalind (Vivien Merchant), who is pregnant of their third child, and is envious of the Oxford professor Charley (Stanley Baker), who has a television show. Stephen feels attracted to Anna, but William woos her and she becomes his girlfriend. Charley has a love affair with Anna, but when things go wrong, Anna must leave town.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sam Spiegel had first planned to produce this, with Richard Burton starring. See more »
The Anna character is meant to be Austrian, but speaks with a (Jacqueline Sassard's native) French accent. See more »
[reading from learned journal]
A statistical analysis of sexual intercourse at Colenso University, Milwaukee showed... that 70% did it in the evening, 29.9% between 2 and 4 in the afternoon and 0.1% during a lecture on Aristotle.
I'm surprised to hear that Aristotle is on the syllabus in the State of Wisconsin.
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First scene: a car crashes onto the side of the road. A man runs to the car lifting the glamorous female passenger out and leaving the man for dead. He seems to know the girl and he takes her back to his house. Cue flashback. 'Accident' The film's dramatic and intriguing opening lead me to expect a thriller or mystery. This is not exactly what was on offer. The tension comes from emotions, desires and inner conflicts. This is a character led film with wonderfully subtle performances and a good eye for life's little details. Dirk Bogarde is in top form as the professor whose mid-life crisis antics have tragic effects on those around him. The film has enough drama to keep your attention. The ensemble acting and editing create a sense of tension and impending doom in the banal country setting and bright weather. Ultimately though the film fails to tell a fully rounded story. At the end the fatal 'accident' loses it's impact rather than gaining any extra meaning. This is also a film with a very male perspective. The main female characters are very much stereotypes; the wife is a quiet, long suffering housewife, the professor's young and beautiful student an impenetrable femme fatale. Both characters act very much as symbols of the professor's inner struggles without very much character development. In conclusion this is an interesting way of spending a couple of hours as long as you're not looking for an enlightening or particularly pleasant view of human relationships.
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