Stephen (Dirk Bogarde) is a middle-aged professor at Oxford University. Stifled by academia and marriage, he yearns for an affair with his beautiful and enigmatic student Anna (Jacqueline Sassard). He is locked into a battle for her affection with her fiancé, 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.
Bogarde plays the leading man with complete conviction, even down to his unassuming pipe-smoking withstanding the minutest scrutiny. Also watch out for his unmistakable trademark expression in a scene with Baker. Never has a simple mannerism conveyed so much more than words ever could.
This exemplifies perfectly Bogarde's belief that the camera could capture thought. The deep, intelligent, at times challenging Pinter script is a work of creative brilliance without an ounce of fat, providing the viewer with an overview of the situations, human problems and emotions that confront the characters, yet deftly allowing us to fill in the gaps and draw our own conclusions - a class act that few can match.
Screened in a rare 35mm print at Slindon Cinema