Betrayal (1983) - Rotten Tomatoes

Betrayal (1983)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Director David Jones adapted Harold Pinter's play of the same name -- with the help of Pinter himself -- to better fit this chronologically reversed drama of love and betrayal to the medium of film. The action starts with a scene in a London pub in which Jerry (Jeremy Irons) and Emma (Patricia Hodge) hold a subtly sardonic conversation on the nature of human failings as they meet for the first time after the end of their affair. The next scene, introduced by an intertitle, details how their romance fizzled and is followed by the next vignette, one year earlier, on how Jerry broke the news to Emma's husband Robert (Ben Kingsley) that he and Emma were lovers. And so it continues, through a total of nine scenes, back to the beginning of a complex, interpersonal drama. The film benefits considerably from Kingsley and Irons as the lead males, and the backwards story is in no way hard to follow.


Avril Elgar
as Mrs. Banks
Chloe Billington
as Charlotte (5)
Hannah Davies
as Charlotte (9)
Michael König
as Ned Age 2
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Critic Reviews for Betrayal

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5)

Not a total loss-some wit and a few well-sketched moments survive-but the betrayal here is largely one of the talent involved.

July 3, 2015 | Full Review…

An absorbing, quietly amusing chamber drama for those attuned to Harold Pinter's way with words.

April 21, 2012 | Full Review…

Hodge is fine, Kingsley tries his best, and Irons is as tight-assed as ever. But it's all so uncinematic as to make one wonder why it was ever made in the first place.

April 21, 2012 | Full Review…

The "Betrayal" structure strips away all artifice. It shows, heartlessly, that the very capacity for love itself is sometimes based on betraying not only other loved ones, but even ourselves.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Though I didn't see the stage production when it was done on Broadway in 1980, this ''Betrayal'' is a riveting film that proceeds through the interlocking love lives of three special friends.

August 30, 2004

In Pinter's plays, the silences are as important as the notes; and [the actors] play the pauses with such exquisite timing, such command of detonating ambiguities, as to make the Broadway version look like a hastily assembled run-through.

February 26, 2020 | Full Review…

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