Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


THE TRIPLE ECHO (1972). Director: Michael Apted.

Alice (Glenda Jackson) is running a farm in WW2 England while her husband is held in a Japanese POW camp. She becomes friends with a young soldier, Barton (Brian Deacon), whom she finds trespassing upon her property. Barton comes around to help on the farm and get some home-cooked meals and the two eventually become lovers. When Barton decides to go AWOL so that he can stay with Alice, she gets the idea of dressing him in drag as her sister, "Katie," so that nobody will suspect. Then a certain Sergeant (Oliver Reed) from the nearby Army base comes a calling, and takes a shine to "Katie" -- and maybe vice versa? At least "Katie" agrees to go to a dance at the base with the sergeant ... No, this isn't a comedy, but a decidedly unusual drama that has its interesting moments but somehow never quite hits the mark. Jackson and Deacon are fine, but Reed plays the sergeant as if he thinks he's appearing in a comic opera. Triple Echo never quite comes to grips in a frank or satisfying fashion with all of the psycho-sexual elements that are at its core. The movie also lifts a major plot device, including its ending, from the far superior Of Mice and Men. You want to be moved by the picture and Barton's plight but it comes off more as a dirty joke. Nice score by Marc Wilkinson.

Verdict: Be careful who you go to the prom with. **1/2.

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