As it was onstage in 1978, Betrayal is an absorbing, quietly amusing chamber drama for those attuned to Harold Pinter’s way with words.
In laying out his study of a rather conventional menage-a-trois among two male best friends and the wife of one of them, Pinter’s gambit was to present it in reverse chronological order. Tale thus starts in the present and gradually steps backwards over the course of nine years.
Kingsley comes across best, as the film only springs fully to life when he’s onscreen. Irons also seems very much at home with the required style. As the fulcrum of the tale, Patricia Hodge knows her way around dialog but pales somewhat in the presence of the two men and lacks allure.
1983: Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay