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The Triple Echo (1972)

R | | Drama, War | 17 November 1972 (UK)
Deserting soldier dresses as a woman to escape detection; liking the female role he goes to a dance with another soldier and is exposed.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writers:

Robin Chapman (screenplay), H.E. Bates (story "The Triple Echo")
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Glenda Jackson ... Alice
Oliver Reed ... the Sergeant / Sergeant
Brian Deacon ... Barton
Anthony May Anthony May ... Subaltern
Gavin Richards Gavin Richards ... Stan
Jenny Lee Wright Jenny Lee Wright ... Christine
Kenneth Colley ... Provo Corporal (as Ken Colley)
Daphne Heard Daphne Heard ... Shopkeeper
Zelah Clarke ... First Girl
Colin Rix Colin Rix ... Compere
Ioan Meredith Ioan Meredith ... Guard
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Storyline

Barton is a soldier in WW2 England; he meets Alice, who is looking after her farm single-handed as her husband is a prisoner of the Japanese. Barton stays overnight and they get friendly, and he decides to desert and stay with Alice. They become lovers. As a cover, she tells people in the village that her sister is staying with her, and Barton dresses the part. He has mixed feelings about the feminine role but evidently grows accustomed to it. Eventually an army sergeant comes to the farm, and is glad to learn that there are two unattached women there; he has sexual designs on them. Alice rebuffs him and he concentrates on Barton, as "Cathy". Barton is flattered by the attention, and foolishly agrees to go to a Christmas dance at the army base with the sergeant, obviously not realising that sexual activity will be involved, despite Alice's warnings. At the party, Barton realises what is developing, but can't escape, and the Sergeant won't take no for an answer. Written by Hazel Freeman <hazel@tguk.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Would you go A.W.O.L. with this man?

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Soldier in Skirts See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's 'Triple Echo' title refers to the triple echo sound from a shotgun fired at the climax of the movie. Halliwell's Film Guide and John Willis' Film Annual 1973 list the film without the definite article. See more »

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User Reviews

Peculiar, small-scale story.
21 May 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

The Triple Echo is, for want of a better word, queer. It's hard to see what commercial appeal the film ever had, if indeed if ever had any. It is also hard to see how the production team and the actors ever felt that it could have much merit as art or entertainment. That's not to say that it is a bad film, for it has plenty to recommend it; it just seems necessary to point out that it is a truly odd project to have been considered for the big screen.

The story tells of a widowed woman living on a farm during WWII. A deserting soldier appears on her property seeking shelter; she takes a liking to him (he is, after all, helpful and energetic around the farm) and eventually decides to help him to evade capture by disguising him as her sister. However, a crude army officer from the nearby garrison starts to fancy "her", until he realises that "she" is actually a "he".

The three principle performances are very good, and the English countryside is painted lovingly throughout. The ending contains a genuinely surprising and jolting twist. There's even a brief dash of sex and bad language to give the film a bit of that typical 70s realism (though, obviously, the story is set during the 40s). What damages this film is the fact that it is such a thin and directionless story. This would have made a splendid 60 minute TV drama, but as a feature length theatrical release, there is simply not enough material to keep you intrigued, interested and entertained for an hour and thirty three minutes or so.


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