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:
...
...
Ted Burgess
...
Mrs. Maudsley
...
Leo Colston
...
Leo
...
Mr. Maudsley
...
Hugh Trimingham
...
Marcus
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:

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:

Language:

Release Date:

18 June 1971 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Budbäraren  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joseph Losey rented an abandoned manor in Norfolk and had it refurbished for the movie. 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

Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes
(1889) (uncredited)
From the Savoy Opera "The Gondoliers"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Performed by Alan Bates
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Boy caught in Edwardian love triangle in his 13th year.
24 September 1999 | by See 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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