The Go-Between (1971)


“Thank you very much Mr. Burgess, is there anything I can do for you?” – Leo

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 May 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A young boy spends the summer at the estate of his best friend in the countryside and becomes a messenger between two lovers who are forbidden from marrying.

My Take on it – This is a film that I knew absolutely nothing about before watching it and only came across it during my quest to watch all films that have garnered Oscar nominated performances.

This film is an extremely boring period drama and is probably more interesting in book form than on the screen (or at least I hope so).

They fail to develop the characters enough here and it’s quite difficult to care about any of them or about what will happen to them because they all feel too distant.

The fact that the story is being told via the eyes of a child who doesn’t quite understand everything going on around him also takes things away from the story that would have helped make things more impactful especially since it distances us even more from the story being told.

The dialogue is quite minimal and what they have meanders along too much.

As the forbidden lovers, both Julie Christie and Alan Bates are fine, but neither truly is able to give us more of a reason to believe their love affair.

Margaret Leighton stands out among the cast as Christie’s mother who does all she can for her daughter in order to help her secure a stable financial future even if she doesn’t love the man chosen for her.

She was nominated for Brest Supporting Actress for this role.

The pacing of this story is extremely slow and makes it quite difficult to try and stay focused on things because it comes across as being quite boring throughout.

Bottom Line – Really boring film that probably was much better in book form than it is on screen. The characters aren’t developed well enough for us to care about them and the secret messages between the two lovers make things feel much more distant since it is all done via a messenger. The dialogue is minimal and Leighton stands out among everyone as the mother of Christie trying to ensure a financially sound future for her daughter even if she doesn’t love the intended man. Leighton was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work here.  The story itself moves at a super slow pace and fails to find a way to keep the story interesting.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The opening line of L.P. Hartley’s novel, upon which this movie was based, has become somewhat well-known: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there”. It also opens this movie. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)

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2 thoughts on “The Go-Between (1971)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1971 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1971 | MovieRob

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