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The Go-Between (1971)

GP | | Drama, Romance | 1 October 1971 (UK)
A tale of torrid and forbidden love between a couple in the English countryside.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Harold Pinter (screenplay), L.P. Hartley (based on the novel: "The Go-Between" by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Julie Christie ... Marian - Lady Trimingham
Alan Bates ... Ted Burgess
Margaret Leighton ... Mrs. Maudsley
Michael Redgrave ... Leo Colston
Dominic Guard ... Leo
Michael Gough ... Mr. Maudsley
Edward Fox ... Hugh Trimingham
Richard Gibson ... Marcus
Simon Hume-Kendall Simon Hume-Kendall ... Denys
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Charles
Amaryllis Garnett Amaryllis Garnett ... Kate (as Amaryllis Garnet)
Keith Buckley ... Stubbs
John Rees John Rees ... Blunt
Gordon Richardson Gordon Richardson ... Rector
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Storyline

Summer 1900: Queen Victoria's last, and the summer Leo turns thirteen. He's the guest of Marcus, a wealthy classmate, at a grand house in rural Norfolk. Leo is befriended by Marian, Marcus' twenty-something sister, a beauty about to be engaged to Hugh, a viscount and good fellow. Marian buys Leo a forest-green suit, takes him on walks, and asks him to carry messages to and from their neighbor, Ted Burgess, a bit of a rake. Leo is soon dissembling, realizes he's betraying Hugh, but continues as the go-between nonetheless, asking adults naive questions about the attractions of men and women. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Those were the innocent days, but the summer ended with a storm. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Budbäraren See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

EMI Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with critic John Russell Taylor, Screenwriter Harold Pinter said, "Now what I find most exciting about the subject is the role of time: the annihilation of time by the man's return to the scene of his childhood experience." Pinter told interviewer Michel Ciment, "I am fascinated by the concept of time, and by the power the cinema has to suddenly reveal the meaning of a whole life from the age of twelve to sixty." See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the parishioners are going to church, the bells can be heard ringing Plain Bob Minor, a six-bell method. But when the scene changes to the interior of the church, only four men are seen, heaving laboriously on the ropes. Change ringing requires the sally (the coloured fluffy portion) to be pulled fully down and allowed to rise high up, then the rope is pulled down again by the tail end (hand-stroke and back-stroke), but the tail ends of the ropes are all knotted up. The men are only chiming the bells, not performing full-circle change ringing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Endeavour: Icarus (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

The Go-Between (Suite Pour Harpe, Clavecin Et Orchestre)
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Boy caught in Edwardian love triangle in his 13th year.
24 September 1999 | by Antonio-37See all my reviews

Winsome Dominic Guard plays Leo in this movie made from the novel by the famous English physician and author, L. P. Hartley.

This was the first movie made by young Guard, who was 15 years old but playing a 13 year old boy. Guard went on to a movie career ending with a role in Gandhi (1982). He carries off the role of young Leo to perfection, with his long hair and fetching smile.

It is high summer in Edwardian England. Leo is from a single parent home, his father is dead. And his mother lives in reduced circumstances. His pal from boarding school, Marcus (played by Richard Gibson) brings him home to the family estate in Norfolk to spend the summer. England is having a heat wave that year, and the weather and scenery play as much of a role in this movie as do the actors.

Marcus' big sister, Marian (Julie Christie - Dr. Zhivago, etc.) has fallen for Ted (Alan Bates) the tenant farmer. This was a big no-no in the society of that time. She enthralls Leo, and uses him as the go-between, delivering messages for trysts with her lover.

Leo is turning 13 that summer. And he has a burning interest to find out "what happens after spooning? I don't know the word for it". Typical of a 13 year old boy. See Guard at his best acting the wondering Leo asking this question of his new pal, farmer Ted. Such wide eyed innocence.

Needless to say, Leo does find out the answer, somewhat to his horror, at the climax of the movie. This happens during his birthday party, which turns out to be the party from hell when his, Marian's and Ted's secret comes out.

It's a horrid end to a fabulous summer for the boy. He turns 13. He made new friends with Marian and Ted. The rich family of his pal Marcus treat him well. He even befriends Hugh, the viscount engaged to Marian. He makes the all-star catch at cricket to win the game for his side, even though it puts out Ted, the champion of the village versus the manor game.

Yet he also discovers betrayal, and lying. And all the charms of growing up.


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