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Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

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1:33 | Trailer
The emotional intricacies of a polyamorous relationship between young artist Bob and his two lovers: a lonely male doctor and a frustrated female office worker.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writer:

Penelope Gilliatt (screenplay)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Finch ... Daniel Hirsh
Glenda Jackson ... Alex Greville
Murray Head ... Bob Elkin
Peggy Ashcroft ... Mrs. Greville
Tony Britton ... Mr. Harding
Maurice Denham ... Mr. Greville
Bessie Love ... Answering Service Lady
Vivian Pickles ... Alva Hodson
Frank Windsor ... Bill Hodson
Thomas Baptiste ... Prof. Johns
Richard Pearson ... Patient
June Brown June Brown ... Woman Patient
Hannah Norbert Hannah Norbert ... Daniel's Mother
Harold Goldblatt Harold Goldblatt ... Daniel's Father
Marie Burke ... Aunt Astrid
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Storyline

Divorced working woman Alex and well-to-do Jewish family doctor Daniel Hirsh share not only the same answering service but also the favours of young Bob Elkin who bed-hops between them as the mood takes him. Both Alex and Dr Hirsh are aware of the other's existence but prefer to live with the situation rather than risk losing Elkin completely. But a wet winter weekend in London can be difficult. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's about three decent people. They will break your heart.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian | Hebrew | French

Release Date:

21 September 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bloody Sunday See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of scenes that had been filmed with Ian Bannen were not re-shot. Some performers listed on cast breakdown (kept by BFI special Collections) were not rehired to film their roles with Peter Finch. See more »

Quotes

Bob: It's not because of me, is it?
Alex: No, my duck, it is not because of you. You turn everything to yourself!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Here We Go Again: Sunday, Soggy Sunday (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Fröhlicher Landmann (The Happy Farmer)
(uncredited)
From Album für die Jugend (Album for the Young), Opus 68
Composed by Robert Schumann
Performed by Glenda Jackson
Alex plays the piece on the piano while the monkey looks on
See more »

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User Reviews

Schlesinger's finest film
6 November 2004 | by bob998See all my reviews

This was a step forward for Schlesinger. After the grim working class stories--A Kind of Loving, with Alan Bates and June Ritchie miserable over an unwanted pregnancy; Billy Liar with Tom Courtenay constantly fantasizing as a way of coping with his dull life--we got Darling, a slick bit of commercial film-making with Julie Christie. Then the trip to New York for Midnight Cowboy, a picture so empty, and so honored by the Academy, that I feared he would become just another hack, a la Clive Donner.

Instead we get a character study, one of the best films of the last three decades. Daniel Hirsch is drowning in respectability; a Jewish doctor who can't muster the courage to come out because the congregation wouldn't understand, so resigns himself to matchmaking attempts by his mother. Alex Greville works with high level job candidates, whom she can sleep with to chase the boredom away. She wants a husband, but her mother advises her to accept that half a loaf is better than none. Bob Elkin is the love object for both; a handsome and really shallow young man who thinks about his future a lot, and realizes that it doesn't involve either Alex or Daniel.

So many wonderful scenes: Bob and Alex visit friends for the weekend. Bob raids the fridge, finds some milk. Alex tells him it's mother's milk--phwoah! Daniel has a party; a woman starts yelling at her husband about the au pair girl he's been sleeping with. Bob wants to leave; his aesthetic sense is offended by this unseemly display of emotion. Daniel wants him to stay, to provide moral support, but Bob is just too selfish to listen. There is always the feeling that disaster is just around the corner, that the triangle will soon collapse.

Glenda Jackson and Peter Finch are just about perfect as the adults in this situation, and Murray Head, if he doesn't show any great acting ability, at least makes us believe in his desirability. He went on to perform roughly the same role as Annie Girardot's lover in La Mandarine.


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