EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|RETURN OF THE SOLDIER, THE (director: Alan Bridges; screenwriters: story by Rebecca West/Hugh Whitemore; cinematographer: Stephen Goldblatt; editor: Laurence Méry-Clark; music: Richard Rodney Bennett; cast: Alan Bates (Capt. Chris Baldry), Glenda Jackson (Margaret Gray), Julie Cristie (Kitty Baldry), Ann-Margret (Jenny Baldry), Ian Holm (Dr. Gilbert Anderson); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Simon Relph/Ann Skinner; European Classics Video; 1982-UK)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Alan Bridges directs this overwrought drama
adapted from a
West novel. Most soldiers who go off to war return,
and when they do
suffer because the place they left behind has
changed or they have. In
this war tale the returning WW1 soldier Alan Bates
is suffering from
and has become an amnesia victim, who has forgotten
long-term marriage to the aristocratic Julie
Christie. He revives his
marriage with the uncaring but social status driven
Julie, unaware of
spinsterish adoring cousin Ann-Margret's secret love
for him. There is
also the dowdy Glenda Jackson his childhood
sweetheart, and now his
hope for salvation. Well, what's a guy to do
surrounded by all these
That pulpish theme is what it's all about. Bates
goes from trench
to a stiff marriage with the weight of the past on
his frail shoulders,
and he's led to seek comfort in the arms of Glenda.
It then is up to
Ian Holm to sort out this arrangement of Bates and
his three chicks, as
it winds down to its unsubstantial resolution.
Nothing really happens
matters in this tale depicting upper class life, but
the picture is
the acting is grand, and the costumes are marvelous.
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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