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Accident

Accident is one of the most brilliant films of all time; click here to see the trailer.

Joseph Losey was one of the great renegades of the cinema; blacklisted in the US by the HUAC hearings, he fled to England and began making a series of deeply personal, absolutely assured films, many of them starring Dirk Bogarde, such as The Servant (19673) and Accident (1967). The Servant stars Bogarde as a “gentleman’s gentleman” who gradually takes over the house he is supposed to be serving, with predictably disastrous consequences.

Accident stars Bogarde as Stephen, an Oxford classics professor locked in a deadly academic struggle with Charley (Stanley Baker), his ostensible colleague, while both men compete with each other for the affections of their student Anna (Jacqueline Sassard), who, in turn, is in love with fellow student William (Michael York, in his first film). The script for the film was by Losey’s longtime artistic collaborator, the brilliant playwright Harold Pinter. As I wrote in my essay “The Eternal Summer of Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter’s Accident, the film “moves in a world that is privileged, stillborn, insular, and sodden with alcohol; it is also a world of great beauty and sudden death, power and weakness, splendor and decay.” Again, this should go to the top of your must see list; one of the essential films of the 1960s, and of British cinema as a whole.

Click here to read a 2013 essay on the BFI restoration of the film, which cites my own work extensively.

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About the Author

Wheeler Winston Dixon

Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is an internationally recognized scholar and writer of film history, theory and criticism. He is the author of thirty books and more than 100 articles on film, and appears regularly in national media outlets discussing film and culture trends. Frame by Frame is a collection of his thoughts on a number of those topics. To contact Prof. Dixon for an interview, reach him at 402.472.6064 or wdixon1@unl.edu. Visit him at his website wheelerwinstondixon.com.

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