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Sunday Bloody Sunday (film)

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United Kingdom

Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) movie poster

Penelope Gilliatt (screenplay)

Release date
1 July 1971 (1971-07-01)

(Dr. Daniel Hirsh), (Alex Greville), (Bob Elkin), (Mrs. Greville), (George Harding), (Mr. Greville)

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It's about three decent people. They will break your heart.

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Sunday Bloody Sunday is a 1971 British drama film written by Penelope Gilliatt, directed by John Schlesinger and starring Murray Head, Glenda Jackson, Peter Finch and Peggy Ashcroft. It tells the story of a free-spirited young bisexual artist (played by Head) and his simultaneous relationships with a female recruitment consultant (Jackson) and a male Jewish doctor (Finch).


Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) movie scenes

The film is significant for its time in that Finch's homosexual character is depicted as successful and relatively well-adjusted, and not particularly upset by his sexuality. In this sense, Sunday Bloody Sunday was a considerable departure from Schlesinger's previous film Midnight Cowboy, which had portrayed its gay characters as alienated and self-loathing, as well as other gay-themed films of the era, including Boys in the Band, and Some of My Best Friends Are....

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The film was released a year before the 1972 massacre of unarmed Irish civilians by the British Army in Derry, Northern Ireland, an event dubbed "Bloody Sunday."

Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) The Wild Reed John Schlesingers Sunday Bloody Sunday A Genuinely

Sunday bloody sunday the kiss


Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) Amazoncom Sunday Bloody Sunday Peter Finch Glenda Jackson

Set in London, the movie tells the story of a middle-aged Jewish doctor, Daniel Hirsh (Peter Finch), and a young woman in her mid-30s, Alex Greville (Glenda Jackson), who are both involved in a love triangle with sculptor Bob Elkin (Murray Head), a younger man in his mid-20s. Not only are Hirsh and Greville both aware that Elkin is seeing the other but they know one another through common friends. Despite this, they are willing to put up with the situation through fear of losing Elkin, who switches freely between them.

Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) The Movie Projector Sunday Bloody Sunday 1971

For Greville, the relationship is bound up with a growing disillusionment about her professional life, failed marriage and uneasy childhood. For Hirsh, it represents an escape from the repressed nature of his Jewish upbringing. Both realize the lack of permanence about their situation and it is only when Elkin decides to leave the country to settle in New York City after receiving an offer to open his own art gallery to display and sell his artwork, that they both come face to face (for the first time in the narrative at the end). Despite their opposed situations, both Hirsh and Greville come to realize that it is time to move on and Elkin leaves for the USA.


Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) Sunday Bloody Sunday Movie Review 1971 Roger Ebert

The film makes extensive use of source music including a recurring motif of the trio Soave sia il vento from Mozart's opera Così fan tutte.


Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) Mozarts Starring Role In Sunday Bloody Sunday WCAI

The film currently holds a 92% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) Posters for John Schlesingers SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY 1971

This film appeared on both Roger Ebert's and Gene Siskel's Top 10 list of 1971. Listed as No. 5 and No. 6 respectively. Roger Ebert commented, "The official East Coast line on John Schlesinger's Sunday Bloody Sunday was that it is civilized. That judgment was enlisted to carry the critical defense of the movie; and, indeed, how can the decent critic be against a civilized movie about civilized people? My notion, all the same, is that Sunday Bloody Sunday is about people who suffer from psychic amputation, not civility, and that this film is not an affirmation but a tragedy...I think 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' is a masterpiece, but I don't think it's about what everybody else seems to think it's about. This is not a movie about the loss of love, but about its absence."

Academy Awards

Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) Sunday Bloody Sunday 1971 TheSolute

  • Best Director (John Schlesinger) - Nominated
  • Best Actor (Peter Finch) - Nominated
  • Best Actress (Glenda Jackson) - Nominated
  • Best Original Screenplay (Penelope Gilliatt) - Nominated
  • Golden Globe Awards

  • Best English-Language Foreign Film - Won
  • Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama (Peter Finch) - Nominated
  • BAFTA Awards

  • Best Film - Won
  • Best Direction (John Schlesinger) - Won
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Peter Finch) - Won
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Glenda Jackson) - Won
  • Best Screenplay (Penelope Gilliatt) - Nominated
  • Best Cinematography (Billy Williams) - Nominated
  • Best Editing (Richard Marden) - Won
  • Best Sound (David Campling, Simon Kaye, Gerry Humphreys) - Nominated
  • Other awards and nominations

  • David di Donatello for Best Foreign Director (John Schlesinger) - Won
  • Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing - Feature Film (John Schlesinger) - Nominated
  • National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor (Peter Finch) - Won
  • National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay (Penelope Gilliatt) - Won
  • National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography (Billy Williams) - 3rd place
  • New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay (Penelope Gilliatt) - Won
  • New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (Peter Finch) - 2nd place
  • Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay (Penelope Gilliatt) - Won
  • Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Best British Original Screenplay (Penelope Gilliatt) - Won
  • References

    Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) Wikipedia
    Sunday Bloody Sunday (film) IMDb Sunday Bloody Sunday (film)