Too deliberate, but among Schlesinger's best; a strong drama about a menage a trois among homosexual Finch, heterosexual Jackson, and bisexual Head, who alternates between the other two. Time may decree the film a classic.
Written by New Yorker magazine movie critic Gilliatt, the plot presents Finch as a middle-aged bachelor doctor in London who shares his answering service with Jackson, a divorced woman who works at an employment agency. Both of them know Windsor and Pickles, a happy couple in the area, and both of
them sleep with Head, a younger designer of modern sculpture. Both Jackson and Finch are aware of each other because Head is an honest sort, almost to the point of naivete. Windsor and Pickles have five children and need some time away from home, so Jackson and Head offer to stay at their home and
tend the quintet while the parents go off to attend an educational seminar. On Saturday morning Head excuses himself from Jackson and only says he's "going out." She knows that he's on his way to see Finch, and the thought of it knocks her off her strict diet and into an orgy of fudge consumption.
At Finch's the two men discuss an upcoming vacation to Italy, then Head returns to an annoyed Jackson, who resents having to share her lover with a man.
The characters are terribly civilized about the whole thing--too civilized, in fact, with only Jackson betraying any real emotion. The major problem with this film is that it is not easy to see what an intelligent man like Finch and an equally intelligent woman like Jackson see in Head--his
character is not realized nearly so well as those of the other two. Schlesinger said that he conceived the idea of the film on the basis of some people he knew, then hired Gilliatt. She, on the other hand, claims total responsibility for the idea because she'd written a novel with a similar plot.
Perhaps their differences explain the movie's unresolved undercurrent.
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- Released: 1971
- Rating: R
- Review: Too deliberate, but among Schlesinger's best; a strong drama about a menage a trois among homosexual Finch, heterosexual Jackson, and bisexual Head, who alternates between the other two. Time may decree the film a classic. Written by New Yorker magazine m… (more)