Adapted from L.P Hartley’s classic 1953 novel exploring the loss of childhood innocence, The Go-Between (1970) was the third collaboration between director Joseph Losey and writer Harold Pinter, following The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967).
Continuing their exploration of class and desire, it explores a middle-aged man (Michael Redgrave) recalling a childhood summer at a country estate when, as a boy (Dominic Guard), he became a messenger between an aristocratic woman (Julie Christie) an a local farm worker (Alan Bates).
Beautifully filmed in the Norfolk countryside, it transcends the period setting to become a powerful meditation on human relationships and the social rules which govern them.
It is also a meditation on memory and the tricks it may or may not play on us, as the clever narrative gradually makes clear.
Christie and Bates had previously starred together in Far From the Madding Crowd, and there is a definite sense of melancholy here that can be found it the works of Thomas Hardy, alongside the sharp jabs at the cruelties of the British class system.
The period details and costumes are all excellent and the memorable, driving score by Michael LeGrand adds an extra layer of emotion to the story.
It won several BAFTAs, including one for Pinter’s screenplay, and was one of four films awarded a grand prize at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.
The Blu-ray comes with the following extras:
- SD: Interviews with Joshua Losey (10 mins) / Michael Billington (8 mins) / Patricia Losey (12 mins) / Gerry Fisher (21 mins) / John Heyman (7 mins)
- Horlicks Advert directed by Joseph Losey / Audio recording of Joseph Losey interviewed by Dilys Powell in 1973 (100 mins)
- HD: Trailer / BD Live
- Booklet: Piece by Gavrik Losey, Reprint of essays by Nick James, Editor of Sight & Sound and Dylan Cave, contributor, from Sight & Sound June 2009.
The technical specifications are as follows:
- Cert: PG
- Region B
- Feature Running time: 116 mins approx
- Blu-ray Feature Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
- Colour PAL
- Feature Audio: DTS Master Audio Dual Mono
- English Language
- Video: 24p 1080
- Disc Type: BD50
- Cat no: OPTBD1195
The Go-Between is out on Blu-ray now from Optimum Home Entertainment as part of The Studio Canal Collection