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No Man's Land (1978)

In this television adaptation of the Harold Pinter classic, a seedy poet (Sir John Gielgud) shows up at the house of a rich writer (Sir Ralph Richardson) and they start reminiscing about the "past".


Julian Aymes, Peter Hall


Harold Pinter (play)




Cast overview:
John Gielgud ... Spooner
Ralph Richardson ... Hirst
Michael Kitchen ... Foster
Terence Rigby ... Briggs


A seedy ostensible poet, Spooner, visits the home of his wealthy and successful counterpart, Hirst. Their conversation suggests that they have come there after meeting in a pub. Further conversation suggests that they knew each other at university and share acquaintances and perhaps even lovers. Hirst's associates/assistants Foster and Briggs do their best to intimidate Spooner. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Release Date:

3 October 1978 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Senkif√∂ldje See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Featured in Great Performances: John Gielgud: An Actor's Life (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Best thing I've ever seen
31 August 2006 | by mere87See all my reviews

I recently saw a tape of this from a BBC4 transmission and was completely transfixed from start to finish. I can't begin to offer any explanation of what it's about exactly, or talk with any self assurance about the work of Harold Pinter, but can honestly say that this is like nothing else I've seen. Certainly, for me, the best thing Pinter's written. Even the Homecoming struggles to compete for sheer relentlessness malevolence and florid verbiage. Gielgud and Richardson are pure magic, with great support from Michael Kitchen (a far cry from Foyle) and Terence Rigby. The script is surreal, unsettling and hilarious. Tangental is possibly the best word I can come up with, for Pinter generally in fact, with the characters and context continually shooting off in new directions, so the mind is constantly readjusting itself to what it's being asked to understand. It's often said that Pinter is heir to Beckett (and Joyce even) but this is more real than Beckett and possibly has greater emotional depth. Nowadays people would probably say "multi layered" but "multi dimensional" is possibly more accurate. The exact relationship between the characters remains ambiguous to end, although some clarity does emerge in the last few scenes. To use a much used analogy, it's like listening to an hour and a half of free jazz. An acquired taste, therefore, but for some seeing this will be a truly momentous epiphany.

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