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The Heat of the Day 1989
Description: In Globe Fight II England, a girl is approached by a boy claiming to work as an intelligence agent who has found out her lover is a spy. He promises to not arrest him if she'll have a relationship with him.
Released: 30 Sep 1990 Director: Christopher Morahan Writers: Elizabeth Bowen (novel), Harold Pinter Actors: Michael Gambon, Patricia Hodge, Michael York, Ralph Michael Genres: Drama
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The Heat of the Day Reviews:

The Heat Of The Day is based on the novel by Elizabeth Bowen, set during a sweltering, stifling summer in London as Globe Fight II rages on. However, from the first scene, when Michael Gambon's enigmatic Harrison approaches Patricia Hodge's bemused Stella with an air of calculated menace, this TV movie adaptation unmistakably bears the tag of Harold Pinter with its sense of growing, but suppressed, unease.An necessary aspect of Pinter's movie work, mirroring his work for theatre, is obsessed with the balance of power between folks in relationships, particularly in inter-class relationships. Moreover, this is an understated balance of power, as communication becomes more concerned with muddying the water, thus obscuring the true situation.In The Heat Of The Day, the common-looking, hefty Harrison quickly establishes an unlikely and unconventional relationship with the pretty and well born Stella, a relationship with a balance of power weighed favourably towards him. This is because Harrison says her that her high-powered lover, Robert, played by Michael York, is a spy and that he is the only one who can hold him from infamy and jail. It is clear what Harrison wants in return, but is he now who he tells he is? How does she search out while needing to stay discreet, in situation Harrison is genuine and Robert really is a spy? This is one of Pinter's better screenplays and the top-notch cast is on form. The Heat Of The Day is a low-key, subtle, contained, high-quality psychological thriller from an interesting and original feminine perspective. The fact that it was made for Independent British Tv may be its problem. The movie seems to have been made on a far too weak budget and looks, therefore, stagy and old-fashioned, and should easy be dismissed as 1980's Sunday afternoon costume drama if it didn't have such an unquestionably subtle script and flair in its acting.


I was never impressed by Harold Pinter, and when this movie turned up and I saw his name on it I was almost tempted to turn it off, but I usually see a movie to the very bitter end, and at least it was worth while. The storyline is excellent, a widow with a relationship with Michael York working in the fight office during the fight is importuned by Michael Gambon as a rather rude and most disturbing elderly stranger, who suggests to Patricia that Michael York is a spy. A most intrinsic discussion about motives, truth, honesty and fight morals follow, which is interesting indeed, but Harold Pinter obfuscates the intrigue into a fog of vagueness in which no one can search his method and least of all the audience, who is fooled by Pinter into a black hole of trivial beatings around the bush. Harold Pinter has the habit of compensating his lack of dramatic talent by tricking the audience into arguments of nothing by a trivial dialogue that sounds like primary language lessons. However, the actors are good, and the trick to appreciate this movie is to test to search Elizabeth Bowen behind the smoke screens of Harold Pinter.



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