Stephen (Dirk Bogarde) is a middle-aged professor at Oxford University. Stifled by his life of marriage and academia, he yearns for an affair with his beautiful and enigmatic student Anna (Jacqueline Sassard). He is locked into a battle for Anna's affection against her fiance, William (Michael York), whose youthful vitality he envies, and with his friend and academic rival Charley (Stanley Baker), whose media profile and sexual success he covets.
Worth watching but not a masterpiece
- Accident review by PJ
This is a good film, and very much a 1960s British film, in its style, atmosphere, concerns, etc. But it is not a masterpiece. There is something a little bit annoying about it, somehow, in my opinion. It is a bit slow at times. There is something circular about it. At the end of the day, not that much happens: boy meets girl, problems arise, accidents happen, professors at university lust after young women, and so on. I enjoyed it but I don't think it is quite as great a classic as some people would have us believe. I still recommend it.
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
Another Losey-Bogarde classic.
- Accident review by Steve Mason
Cerebral drama written by Harold Pinter with the implicit menace, allusive meaning and expressive silences that we expect from the playwright. It is a slow moving story with a strong evocation of a rural summer, and of the aloof academia that gathers around a pair of ascendant Oxford scholars. A lot of the lifting is done by the lead actors, Dirk Bogarde and Stanley Baker, who are both superb, and the latter, a revelation. There is an art to making very psychological films so compelling, which might easily be portentous and pretentious. This kind of film making was more often found at this time in France and Italy (Rohmer, Antonioni) but Losey proves himself comfortably equal to the task. It is a taut, haunting and atmospheric film by the best director in sixties UK cinema.