The Return of the Soldier
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Time Out saysComing home. Ulysses, Napoleon, Travis Bickle, they all suffered from the same problem of returning from the wars to a prosaic home life, which is not quite the place they left behind them. In this adaptation of Rebecca West's novel, Bates returns from the First World War, his mind in ruins, to a starchy wife (Christie), an adoring female cousin (Ann-Margret), and his modest Palladian pile. After the trenches, what he now faces is the pain of an arid marriage and the weight of the past, so he opts for an old and dowdy flame (Jackson) and leaves the trick cyclist (Holm) to sort out the ménage à quatre. It's a glossy, respectful costume drama about the upper class habit of strangling the heart, but over it all hovers that certain, unmistakable air of irrelevance. Now, if it had been a soldier returning from Ulster, that would have been something. CPea.