“You’re as perverted as she is.”
When a meek antiques shop owner (Peter McEnery) and his shrewish wife (Glenda Jackson) meet a bold German photographer (Diane Cilento), their odd marriage gets even stranger.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Glenda Jackson Films
- Love Triangle
- Marital Problems
Just before her breakthrough role in Women in Love (1969), Glenda Jackson co-starred in this directorial debut by Peter Medak, an odd marital thriller based on a 1961 novel by Peter Everett. Jackson’s screen-husband (McEnery) is likely most recognizable to GFTFF fans as the titular character in Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1970), while odd Cilento is best known for her Oscar-nominated supporting performance in Tom Jones (1963), as a boarding house manager in Hombre (1967), and as a librarian in The Wicker Man (1973). From the opening scenes, we can tell that Jackson and McEnery’s marriage is a decidedly unusual one: he dresses up as the Edwardian wife-killer Hawley Harvey Crippen (who I’ll admit to not having heard of before):
… though it turns out his wife is really the driving force behind this kink.
Suddenly another woman (Cilento) comes into the picture, seemingly as a sexual distraction for McEnery:
… though that’s ultimately debatable, as are most of the twists and turns along the way. By the times get undeniably weird:
… we’ve almost stopped wondering what logic lies behind any of it. To the film’s credit, it held my attention throughout — but that doesn’t necessarily mean it coheres.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Ken Hodges’ cinematography
No, but it’s worth a one-time look if you’re curious. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.