7.4/10
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34 user 22 critic

The Go-Between (1971)

A tale of torrid and forbidden love between a couple in the English countryside.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (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:
...
...
...
...
...
Leo
...
Mr. Maudsley
...
...
Simon Hume-Kendall ...
Denys
...
Charles
Amaryllis Garnett ...
Kate (as Amaryllis Garnet)
...
Stubbs
John Rees ...
Blunt
Gordon Richardson ...
Rector
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Storyline

Summer 1900: Queen Victoria's last and the summer Leo turns 13. He's the guest of Marcus, a wealthy classmate, at a grand home in rural Norfolk. Leo is befriended by Marian, Marcus's 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. Can an affair between neighbors stay secret for long? And how does innocence end? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This Year's Grand Prize Winner at the Cannes Film Festival

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Budbäraren  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Losey tried to get this film made in 1963 but couldn't secure financing. He tried again in 1968, with the same result. 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

Version of The United States Steel Hour: The Go-Between (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Messager (The Go-Between) (Thème Du Film)
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Evocative record of a very hot (and stately) Norfolk summer
19 March 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I agree with the previous reviewer that the time-shifts seem unnecessary and serve only to complicate the film. There's also an unlikely implication that the events of the Norfolk summer which Leo experienced 40 years ago were so traumatic that he had become psychologically incapable of getting married.

But for me, although there's not much that happens in the plot, this film is heavy with nostalgia. It was the first school film I saw on arriving at a Northamptonshire boarding school. Like Leo, I was 13 and didn't understand everything that was going on.

Would I recommend it to today's youth? Well yes, but I wouldn't expect a large proportion of them to sit the entire way through it. It just doesn't have anything like the pace of today's blockbusters or teen movies. The enjoyment of this film is now largely an intellectual one -- it's about the laughable views of the upper class, and about book-to-film transfers.

Incidentally, to my knowledge, this film has never been available for sale on DVD. And yet in March 2006, it was given away as a freebie DVD with the UK's Sunday Telegraph. The film industry is seriously undervaluing its back-catalogue. Who knows what next -- Lindsay Anderson's brilliant 'IF' in a packet of cereal??


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