Dirk Bogarde gives a brilliant performance in this psychologically dense and compelling study, scripted by Harold Pinter, of an Oxford don and his infatuation with a beautiful student.
While typing late one night in his country home, Stephen (Dirk Bogarde), an Oxford philosophy professor, hears a crash and runs outside to find two of his pupils trapped inside a smashed car. William (Michael York) is dead, and Anna (Jacqueline Sassard) is in shock, but uninjured. Stephen
remembers when he and the aristocratic William first met the Austrian Anna at school; in particular, he recalls a leisurely Sunday lunch spent at his own house. Charley (Stanley Baker), a brash colleague of Stephen's, had been having an affair with Anna, and it had eventually fallen to Stephen to
deny the gravity of the situation to Charley's wife.
ACCIDENT is arguably director Joseph Losey's best film, equaling the superb THE SERVANT. There is something about Pinter's obliquely penetrating dialogue that brings out the best in Losey, raising the director's customary cerebral pessimism to new levels of insight. As Stephen, Bogarde
brilliantly captures the mentality of his character--a civilized man who has sublimated his sexuality and now finds his fantasies taking over during a mid-life crisis. The rest of the cast is equally excellent, but Stanley Baker stands out as the amoral, but quite likable, Charley. Losey cleverly
scrambles the time scheme of the plot, a la Alain Resnais, most notably in the complex structure of the long Sunday lunch sequence. Like the repressed characters, the visual style of the film is deceptively simple, with the beautiful colors of the serene British countryside used to mask the
languorous sensuality and emotional devastation that lies beneath the surface.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: Dirk Bogarde gives a brilliant performance in this psychologically dense and compelling study, scripted by Harold Pinter, of an Oxford don and his infatuation with a beautiful student. While typing late one night in his country home, Stephen (Dirk Bogarde… (more)