“All aristocrats were made to be… killed.”
An Oxford tutor (Dirk Bogarde) whose wealthy student (Michael York) is interested in a beautiful Austrian exchange student (Jacqueline Sassard) invites the two of them and his colleague (Stanley Baker) for a visit at his country home, where his pregnant wife (Vivien Merchant) is getting ready to give birth — but soon other romantic entanglements emerge, leading to tragedy.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Delphine Seyrig Films
- Dirk Bogarde Films
- Flashback Films
- Joseph Losey Films
- Michael York Films
Along with uncredited work on Modesty Blaise (1966), playwright/author Harold Pinter collaborated with director Joseph Losey on three films: The Servant (1963), The Go-Between (1971), and this award-winning adaptation of a novel by Nicholas Mosley. Unfortunately, Accident is a disappointing film that doesn’t seem to have aged well: we’re never given a reason to care about these self-absorbed, privileged characters, who lack depth and aren’t interesting. The most sympathetic character is played by Merchant:
… though her role is peripheral and she has little agency over matters given her advanced pregnancy. Mostly we’re forced to watch insecure middle-aged men lounging around, drinking too much, and treating infidelity as casually as stopping to fill up a tank of gas:
Sassard, meanwhile, is merely a vapid beauty with no defining characteristics — or interests! or thoughts! — at all.
Delphine Seyrig shows up at one point for a small role, but we don’t like her character either, so…
At least the sets and cinematography are beautiful to look at.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Gerry Fisher’s cinematography
No; you can skip this one.