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Sunday Bloody Sunday
BLU-RAY disk
10.30.2012 By: Mathew Plale
Sunday Bloody Sunday order
Director:
John Schlesinger

Actors:
Peter Finch
Glenda Jackson
Murray Head

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
John Schlesingerís portrait of a love triangle between a gay doctor (Finch), a divorcee (Jackson) and a bisexual artist (Head).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Itís not expected that a gay Jewish doctor and a female divorcee would have much directly in common. But they do in Sunday Bloody Sunday, and his name is Bob.

We see how both Daniel (Peter Finch) and Alex (Glenda Jackson) spend their private time with artist Bob (Murray Head). There they are, babysitting for a friend, at the park and in their apartments. We also see just how mad it can drive them when Bob doesnít answer his phone.

John Schlesingerís Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) is set in England in the days leading up to Bobís departure for New York. The time will come when Bob will be on a plane, and both Daniel and Alex will be left to share a sidewalk.

The film may be pigeonholed as a ďgay movie,Ē but that would be a great injustice and that was not certainly Schlesingerís intention. Ignore the fact that Daniel is gay and Bob is bisexual--traits that the openly gay Schlesinger didnít seek to emphasize and exploit--and there is still a layered story full of emotion.

That is part of the reason why Sunday Bloody Sunday was something of a shock in the early Ď70s. Schlesinger and screenwriter Penelope Gilliatt donít depict the characters that are gay or bisexual as depraved or diseased, but rather successful and complex. They are--GASP!--people. Much credit also goes to Finch, Jackson and Head. Their strong, brave performances ensure the viewer that the movie and the characters arenít what they appear to be on the surface.

Today, Sunday Bloody Sunday--a film Schlesinger may not have been able to make had Midnight Cowboy (whose dealings with homosexuality helped secure an X rating) not been a success--comes off more tame. Modern audiences wonít be shocked, but the film is far from dated. Forty years after its release, the film is still a personal, emotional and human portrait.
THE EXTRAS
John Schlesinger (13:11): Provided are audio excerpts from a 1975 seminar by Schlesinger.

Murray Head (7:31): Head, who played Bob in Sunday Bloody Sunday, discusses working on the film.

Billy Williams (13:15): Cinematographer Williams shares his thoughts on his work on the film and collaborating with Schlesinger.

Luciana Arrighi (9:33): Production designer Arrighi, who won an Oscar for her work on Howards End, notes the detail in many of the sets.

On Sunday Bloody Sunday (23:20): William J. Mann, author of Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger, lends insight into the director, the filmís production and its legacy.

Michael Childers (7:25): Childers, who was John Schlesingerís longtime partner, reflects on Schlesinger and Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Trailer

Also included with this Criterion Collection Blu-ray is a 28-page booklet featuring two pieces: an essay titled ďSomething BetterĒ by cultural historian Ian Buruma and screenwriter Penelope Gilliattís introduction to her script.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Under the direction of John Schlesinger and with terrific turns from Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson and Murray Head, Sunday Bloody Sunday is a completely personal, emotional and human film. The video and audio transfers are strong, as are the special features, which include numerous interviews that give tremendous insight into the filmís production and its cast/crew.
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