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Pinter On Screen

The Comfort of Strangers

Cortesie per gli ospiti

A young English couple fall into the clutches of a sinister Venetian and his Canadian wife while on holiday.

Image from The Comfort of Strangers

USA-Italy-UK 1990
Dir Paul Schrader
With Christopher Walken, Helen Mirren, Natasha Richardson, Rupert Everett
104min
35mm
Certificate 15
Courtesy of the Paul Schrader Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive

Pinter’s adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel preserves the original’s sexual strangeness while adding – with the author’s approval – a political dimension. A young English couple fall into the clutches of a sinister Venetian and his Canadian wife while on holiday. Through the character of Robert, the father-worshipping host (a mesmerising Walken), Pinter suggests there is a direct link between an inflexible patriarchy and political absolutism. A chilling film.


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