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Winters and Finch, sparring out a last drunken evening together, make a sufficiently unlikely married couple for one to regret her exit after ten minutes. What might have happened between them is a more interesting conjecture than what actually develops in this adaptation of Nicholas Monsarrat's novel, with Finch acting reluctant midwife to an unmarried teenage hitchhiker (Hayden) under very implausible circumstances. He goes through his alcoholic male menopause looking as if he wished Burton had got the part. What really sinks the thing is the impossible mixture of symbolism - striving for universal significance and stopping little short of lionesses whelping in the streets - and heavy-handed observation, where (for example) mental crack-up is primarily indicated by wearing odd-coloured socks. Melodrama runs amok on the Isle of Wight, and the nodding references to Chabrol make it all the more uncomfortable.

Release details

Duration: 99 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alastair Reid
Screenwriter: Alastair Reid
Cast: Peter Finch
Shelley Winters
Colin Blakely
John Stride
Linda Hayden
Harold Goldblatt
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