The Go-Between

Swept along by Michel Legrand's romantic theme, how could Alan Bates and Julie Christie, at the peak of their beauty and fire, not consummate their forbidden love? With a literate adaption by Harold Pinter, co-authored with novelist L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between (1970), directed by Joseph Losey (The Boy With Green Hair, The Servant, Accident), is lush with a banked heat that threatens to burst into flame at any moment, singeing the boxwoods and anyone who gets in the way. Invited by upper crust classmate for a visit to the sprawling family home, young Leo (Dominic Guard) gets caught up in the machinations between sultry Christie, who's engaged to rich Edward Fox, and her true love, farmer Bates. Unaware at first, subject to manipulation by all, Leo carries love letters back and forth from the lovers who know their relationship has no chance of success in class-conscious England. The loss of innocence is as important a theme as is social pressure, and an older Leo (Michael Redgrave) looks back throughout the film and realizes what devastation occurred, particularly to himself.

Margaret Leighton, as Christie's mother, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress, but, surprisingly, the movie received no other accolades in the United States, although showered with awards from England and the continent. Then again Losey had relocated to England during the House Un-American Activities Committee, after he refused to testify about his Communist Party affiliations. Seems Hollywood doesn't always forget... or forgive.

5 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org. $9.
Sun., July 20, 5 p.m., 2014

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D.L. Groover has contributed to countless reputable publications including the Houston Press since 2003. His theater criticism has earned him a national award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) as well as three statewide Lone Star Press Awards for the same. He's co-author of the irreverent appreciation, Skeletons from the Opera Closet (St. Martin's Press), now in its fourth printing.
Contact: D. L. Groover