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“A CLEVERLY BARBED COMEDY OF DEPRAVITY! Losey and Pinter use sexual desperation amid the beauty of Oxford in summertime to make our flesh crawl... with virtuoso passages of calculated meanness and, as the centerpiece, a long, drunken Sunday party, with people sitting down to supper when they’re too soused to eat. As a weakling philosophy don, Bogarde goes through his middle-aged-frustration specialty brilliantly, gripping his jaw to stop a stutter or folding his arms to keep his hands out of trouble.”
– Pauline Kael
“PUT TOGETHER AS CAREFULLY AS HITCHOCK! Losey establishes the mood by a series of low-key performances and a very quiet camera style. The plot depends on coincidences, timing and the resources available in the limited Oxford world. But it is also recognizably a work of Pinter in the way the story is revealed backwards, in scenes that are jigsawed together to make an emotional continuity instead of a straightforward story line.”
– Roger Ebert
“Foresakes the swinging, mini-skirted metropolis for an examination of moral lassitude and contained passions among the dreaming spires and cardigan-wearing dons of Oxford academia... [with] an interesting friction in the varied stylized realism of the performances (not least that between Bogarde and Baker), top-notch color cinematography by Gerry Fisher, an intriguing use of sound (jazzman John Dankworth’s saxy score, disrupted by the soundtrack’s banal clicking clocks or offscreen passing ambulances), all darkened by the discomforting sharpness of Losey’s foreigner’s eye.”
– Wally Hammond, Time Out (London)
Beloved by those who cherish scrappy survivors, Joseph Losey managed to make some dazzlingly off-kilter films, both in Hollywood (1948’s subversive The Boy with Green Hair) and in his adopted England after he was blacklisted. Three projects from his European rebound were collaborations with the ...