Skip to main content

AN ENGLISHMAN ABROAD

UK, 1983 (MIFF 1984)

Director: John Schlesinger

Dramatic reconstruction of a true incident when Australian actress Coral Browne (playing herself) was in Moscow with a production of "Hamlet". She was visited backstage by Guy Burgess, the upper-class Englishman who caused a scandal during the 1950s when he fled to Russia rather than face a charge of treason for supplying Britain's secrets to its ideological enemy.

Burgess invited Browne to lunch. The dramatisation of their encounter reveals him as a poignant figure: lonely, disillusioned, he misses English life yet knows he can never return; he tries, not very successfully, to "make the best of things". Bates is superb, the dialogue is tart and witty; the film as a whole is a modest delight.

See also...

Terminus

An impression of one day at a large London station — told with music, songs, and half-heard conversations, but without commentary. Venice "Golden Lion" Award. ... More »

The Innocent Eye

An exploration of the child's world, seen through their drawings and paintings; based on Traherne's "Is It Not Strange, than an Infant should be Heir of the whole World, and see those Mysteries which ... More »

The Class

A close-up of the work of a class in a drama school and of the methods used to train the aspiring actors and actresses. John Schlesinger's command of the particular directing technique required is ... More »

Night Club

An animated examination of some of the seedier night clubs ... in Liverpool and the people who inhabit them. ... More »

GESUALDO

The tragic story of Carlo Gesualdo, a composer and madrigalist, recognised as one of the great musical names of the late 16th century. Set in the year 1613, when Gesualdo discovers his wife and her ... More »

TAKING A LINE FOR A WALK

An experimental animation exploring the ideas of Paul Klee on colour and movement by the use of computer generated ... graphics. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director