In London two young Oxford graduates come to share an apartment: Phillips, a white advertising executive, and Frederick, a black Jamaican-born lawyer. The two visit a club with their girlfriends one night, but Phillips becomes bored with Dwyer, his rich date. Instead, he is fascinated with
Geeson, a young white woman who seems to be charming numerous black men. Later, he takes her home and is surprised to find that she lives in a black-owned house. The next week the roommates plan a trip to the mansion owned by Phillips' parents, and Phillips brings Geeson along. His parents are
upset when they see the black man and his black girlfriend, Anderson. The black couple leaves and returns to the Phillips-Frederick apartment to make love, only to be interrupted by the racist landlady. She demands that they get out, so Frederick quickly dashes off a note to Phillips before
leaving. He and Anderson first move to the ghetto and then plan a return to Jamaica. At a drunken farewell party, Phillips announces he wants to marry Geeson even though, as it turns out, her stepfather is black, but she rejects him, seeing Phillips as a weak character. Later at the party Phillips
rejects a homosexual advance by Holder. In the end the police break up the party, and the much-confused Phillips is left all alone. The theme of racial mixing was a daring one for 1969 (Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot only the year before, and there were still many unsettling racial
issues), but unfortunately the treatment here is simplistic. At times the direction seems to go for shock value rather than in-depth character study, and emotions are given short shrift. The players are the film's saving grace, investing substandard material with above-standard performances.
Phillips and Frederick work well together and receive some fine support from Geeson. The film is neither so sophisticated nor so daring as the filmmakers apparently wanted, however, and the result has not aged well.
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- Rating: R
- Review: In London two young Oxford graduates come to share an apartment: Phillips, a white advertising executive, and Frederick, a black Jamaican-born lawyer. The two visit a club with their girlfriends one night, but Phillips becomes bored with Dwyer, his rich da… (more)