In a dreary North London flat, the site of perpetual psychological warfare, a philosophy professor visits his family after a nine-year absence, and introduces the four men, father, uncle, and two brothers, to his wife.
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 »
On Christmas Eve 1933, the Waltons prepare for the holiday. However, John Walton, who was forced to take work in another part of the state, has not returned home yet, and his family are becoming increasingly worried.
During World War I, a British aristocrat, an American entrepreneur, and the latter's attractive young daughter, set out to destroy a German battlecruiser, which is awaiting repairs in an inlet just off Zanzibar.
Max is a surly pensioner who alternately venerates and vilifies his dead wife. Sam, his brother, is a supercilious chauffeur. Lenny is a smiling, snake-like pimp. Joey is a thick-witted, would-be boxer. These four men live together in a North London flat, the site of their perpetual sadomasochistic battle of words and sometimes physical violence. And then after nine years, Max's third son, Teddy, a philosophy professor living in California, comes back home for a visit. He brings his wife, Ruth. She is immediately drawn in to the family's ugly psychological games and quickly proves a worthy opponent. Soon, the game involves both of Teddy's brothers taking extreme liberties with Ruth, as the coiled Teddy obstinately refuses to spoil the malicious fun by objecting.Written by
Vivien Merchant was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1977 for this film despite the fact the film was first released in the U.S. in October of 1973 and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974. See more »
What did you say?
I said shove off out of it, that's what I said.
You'll go before me, Dad, if you talk to me in that tone of voice.
Will I, you bitch?
Oh, Daddy, you're not going to use your stick on me, are you? Eh? Don't use your stick on me, Daddy. No, please. It wasn't my fault, it was one of the others. I haven't done anything wrong, Dad, honest. Don't clout me with that stick, Dad.
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The first thing that should be emphasised I think is if you you get the chance I strongly recommend you see the play at the theatre, somehow Pinter's famous pauses seem longer on the stage, and the claustrophobia of the piece is maintained far better than when you watch it on the screen. Nevertheless if you have seen the play (or even if you haven't) you really should watch this film version. Firstly it is directed by the fantastic Peter Hall, one of the great stage directors of the era (and still a great stage director) and thus he is able to remain true to the stage format of the play, while also maintaining a strong cinematic emphasis, this is not just a recording of a stage play. Secondly it features some truly fine actors including the fantastic Vivienne Merchant. Being Pinter's wife she seems to have a unique understanding of the words and is able to convey this onto the audience, her first conversation when she meets Lenny (Ian Holm) particularly sticks in the mind. Ian Holm and Paul Rogers are also fantastic along with the rest of the cast who have names as well known on the stage as they are on the screen. Overall I don't believe I've seen a finer adaptation of a play for the screen.
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