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Intimate relations - Philip Goodhew, Julie Walters, Rupert Graves, Matthew Walker, Laura Sadler

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

In the spring of 1956, in a quaint little town, a crime took place, that shocked a nation... this is the true story.

Intimate relations is a bizarre black comedy, based on a true story of a fatal attraction between a mother, her daughter and a young sailor.

The twisted tale, set in rural 1950s England, tells what happens when a 14-year-old learns that her mother (Julie Walters), who prides herself as doyenne of the dusters, champion of the domestic chore and holder of traditional family values, is having an affair with a young sailor lodger (Rupert Graves)! Amidst an atmosphere of blackmail and deceit, the daughter seduces her way into the affair - a move which could only end in murder...

Theatrical propaganda posters

Intimate relations image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film true crime murder 1950s UK adultery mother daughter threesome lodger

Persons of interest

  • Julie Walters .... Marjorie Beasley
  • Rupert Graves .... Harold Guppy
  • Matthew Walker .... Stanley Beasley
  • Laura Sadler .... Joyce Beasley
  • Holly Aird .... Deirdre
  • Les Dennis .... Maurice Guppy
  • Elizabeth McKechnie .... Iris Guppy
  • James Aiden .... George
  • Michael Bertenshaw .... Mr Pugh
  • Judy Clifton .... Mrs Fox-Davies
  • Christopher Cook .... Deirdre's Baby
  • Candace Hallinan .... Pauline
  • Philip Goodhew .... Screenwriter
  • Philip Goodhew .... Director

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

A lovely, bizarre black comedy.

The times they were a-awful (to paraphrase) (badly). Rationing, moralism, traditional family values, hypocrisy, ignorance, gossip raised to a lifestyle by mindless wives abandoned to their white-washed homes by husbands caught up in remembering or forgetting their own miserable lives. Intimate relations is about a whole bunch of Poms caught in such a dreary lifestyle in a country that's still trying to pay for World War II. Hopelessly flawed people digging themselves deeper and deeper into trouble. What a tangled web they weave.

Julie Walters shines as the twisted, obsessed, lustful mother: She makes Glenn Close look like Mary Tyler Moore when it comes to fatal attractions. Rupert Graves' Harold Guppy is brilliantly confused yet manic, submissive yet aggressive; his mood swings always catch you by surprise. Matthew Walker is perfect as the poor old husband, isolated by his family's and his own infirmities. But it is Laura Sadler as the adolescent Joyce who puts in the best performance, so clear and strong that she does not appear to be acting. Why is it that kids can achieve this so easily (or is it just that groan-ups don't expect much from kids so are consequently always being surprised)?

This film is biting and dark, made even moreso by being based on truth ("99% of the facts are accurate," says Philip Goodhew. "I changed all of the names and combined some of the events, but (the coyness of) the language is spot on.") It's a murky, twisty ride into the ever darkening recesses of a country's dirty laundry. Mixed metaphors aside, it's certainly worth a look.

Security censorship classification

M (Adult themes)

Surveillance time

105 minutes (1:45 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: Undated 1997

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