In its glimpse of the manners and mores of the British socialites at the beginning of the century, The Go-Between is both fascinating and charming. Joseph Losey’s direction sets a pace in which incident and characterization take precedence over action.
The Harold Pinter screenplay, based on the L.P. Hartley novel, is, as one would naturally expect, literate and penetrating, yet there are certain obscurities in the treatment.
It is Michael Redgrave looking back at a definitive event of his boyhood, an experience which undoubtedly was largely responsible for his remaining unmarried. For it is during the long hot summer in the lavish country home that the youngster becomes emotionally involved by acting as the contact (or go-between) between the daughter of the house – with whom he believes himself to be in love – and the tenant farmer, although the girl is already betrothed to a member of the aristocracy. And it is in that period that the boy gets his first inkling of what sex is all about.
Though Julie Christie and Alan Bates are starred as the girl and the farmer, it is the boy who has the pivotal role, and Dominic Guard, a screen newcomer, appears to play his part effortlessly, with an absence of precociousness.
1971: Nomination: Best Supp. Actress (Margaret Leighton)