What sets The Go-Between apart from its two predecessors, the Joseph Losey-Harold Pinter collaborations The Servant and Accident, is a strong sense of melancholy, no doubt a reflection of L.P. Hartley's source material. The decadence of the first two films is less obvious here; the aristocratic rot that Julie Christie's Marion Maudsley is trying desperately to escape is not the focus of the film; it's her fanciful and inevitably doomed affair with a commoner, the farmer played by Alan Bates. Their relationship here has echoes of their previous collaboration, Far From the Madding Crowd, and those films, along with Darling and Petulia, confirm that few actresses could match Christie for playing characters plagued by romantic indecision. Because The Go-Between is also about the memory of this summer affair, its reliability may be tantalizingly in question; after all, what is to say that the middle-aged Leo isn't embellishing his recollections, given his own infatuation with Marion? This extra dimension marks The Go-Between as a film of real substance and emotional power.
by Tom Wiener review