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Interlude Movie Review

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The interesting thing about Interlude, released within a couple of months of the Summer of Love, was that it showed a couple being passionate, rather than casual, about love; it made at least as persuasive a case for romance in 1967 as When Tomorrow Comes (with Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer) had in 1939 or the first Interlude (with June Allyson and Rosanno Brazzi) had in 1957. Stefan Zeiter (Oskar Werner) is a 45-year-old world-class conductor (and married) and Sally (Barbara Ferris) is a 27-year-old dolly bird journalist (and single). Her assignment is to interview him, and she makes mistakes right and left and her flakiness enchants him. Until Stefan's gorgeous and gracious wife, Antonia, arrives on the scene (Virginia Maskell, and yes, that IS Patrick McGoohan's co-star in “The Arrival,” the first episode of The Prisoner series), Stefan and Sally are obsessed with each other. The supporting cast includes Alan Webb (1906–82) as Andrew, and Nora Swinburne, then 65, as Mary (in the penultimate role of a career that began in 1920). Also in the cast are Donald Sutherland, then 33, as Lawrence, and John Cleese, 28, in his very first role as a television public relations man. All the elements of the future Basil Fawlty are in place: the nervous energy, the twittiness, the fathomless desire to impress everyone in sight, and that odd blend of ingratiating abrasiveness that only Cleese can convey with a shift of expression or tone. Werner was a 1965 Oscar nominee for his exquisitely tortured performance as a dying doctor in love with a doomed passenger (fellow nominee Simone Signoret) in Ship of Fools and few could convey erotic anguish as well as he. Ferris, too, hits all the right notes as Sally. She had been Dinah, the Dave Clark Five's leading lady in 1965's Catch Us If You Can/Having a Wild Weekend, John Boorman's first film. Interlude accurately reflects the discrepancy between the devil-may-care atmosphere of its era and the timeless ache of the human heart for a life filled with some meaning. Timi ("Hurt") Yuro sings the title song.

1967 113m/C GB Oskar Werner, Barbara Ferris, Virginia Maskell, John Cleese, Bernard Kay, Robert Lang, Geraldine Sherman, Donald Sutherland, Nora Swinburne, Alan Webb; D: Kevin Billington; W: Hugh Leonard, Lee Langley; C: Gerry Fisher.

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