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Directed by Joseph Losey
Produced by Joseph Losey
Norman Priggen
Written by Harold Pinter (screenplay)
based on the novel by Nicholas Mosley
Starring Dirk Bogarde
Stanley Baker
Jacqueline Sassard
Music by John Dankworth
Cinematography Ken Higgins, BSC
Distributed by London Independent Producers
Release date(s) February 1967
Running time 105 min
Language English

Accident is Harold Pinter's 1967 dramatic film adaptation of the 1965 novel by Nicholas Mosley. Directed by Joseph Losey, it is the second of three collaborations between Pinter and Losey, the others being The Servant (1963) and The Go-Between (1970).[1] At the 1967 Cannes Film Festival it won the award for Grand Prix Spécial du Jury.[2] It is the debut film of actor Michael York.



The story centers on a married Oxford professor, Stephen, who is experiencing a mid-life crisis. The world changes for him when he meets Anna, a beautiful young woman who is engaged to one of his students, William. Following a car accident outside Stephen's home in which William is killed and Anna is severely disoriented, she is obliged to remain with Stephen although his wife is out of town. The events of the build up to the accident are told in flashbacks and, while Stephen believes that he is in control of the events that will eventually lead to the destruction of his marriage, we soon discover that Anna is not so innocent. In fact, she is involved with Charlie, a colleague of Stephen's.

The crowning metaphor of the film comes at a point in one of the flashbacks when we see a dazed but unhurt Anna crushing her dying fiancé beneath her spike-heeled foot as she steps on his face while trying desperately to climb out of the overturned car.



  1. ^ Nick James (2007-06-27). "Joseph Losey & Harold Pinter: In Search of PoshLust Times". BFI. British Film Institute. Retrieved 2009-06-19. "From Venetian decadence and British class war to Proustian time games, the films of Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter gave us a new, ambitious, high-culture kind of art film, says Nick James."  
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Accident". Retrieved 2009-03-08.  
  3. ^ identifies this child actor with Carole Caplin, a "New Age guru" who was the style adviser to Cherie Blair; that this person is the same "Carole Caplin" has not been verified. See also: Paul Scott (2008-05-12). "Revenge, Money... What's Really Driving Cherie Blair" (Web). Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 2009-03-26. "… Miss Caplin, the topless model turned New Age guru who was to become the most influential of Cherie's strange coterie."  

Further reading

Billington, Michael. Harold Pinter. London: Faber and Faber, 2007. ISBN 9780571234769 (13). Updated 2nd ed. of The Life and Work of Harold Pinter. 1996. London: Faber and Faber, 1997. ISBN 0571171036 (10). Print.
Gale, Steven H. Sharp Cut: Harold Pinter's Screenplays and the Artistic Process. Lexington, KY: The UP of Kentucky, 2003. ISBN 0813122449 (10). ISBN 9780813122441 (13). Print.
–––, ed. The Films of Harold Pinter. Albany: SUNY P, 2001. ISBN 0791449327. ISBN 9780791449325. Print.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Grand Prix Spécial du Jury, Cannes
tied with I Even Met Happy Gypsies
Succeeded by
Ådalen 31


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