Daniel Hirsh (Peter Finch) is a wealthy family doctor who can’t seem to muster up the courage to come out due to the potential consequences he would face from the congregation. Alex Greville (Glenda Jackson) is a divorced employment consultant who works (and occasionally sleeps with) her high-end job candidates. What do the two have in common? They’re both deeply enamored and involved in a threesome relationship with the contemporary artist, Bob Elkin (Murray Head), a skilled sculptor in his mid-20s in Sunday, Blood Sunday. Alex and Daniel are aware of each other’s existence, but both care too much for Elkin to actually leave the relationship. On the other hand, the self-indulgent artist conveniently swaps between his two lovers and uses dawdling as a veneer for freedom.
Struggling with her currently unfulfilling job, Greville’s troubled childhood and failed marriage are taking a toll on her. Similarly, Hirsh is haunted by his Jewish upbringing and crushed by his family’s expectations. Still a closeted gay, the doctor has not yet revealed his homosexual orientation to his parents, who constantly pressure him to marry and have children. Attempting to silence the mental turmoil through their relationship with Elkin, both Alex and Daniel are faced with a heartbreaking and challenging outcome when their lover decides to leave and settle in New York in order to market his artwork.
“Captivating while remaining unvarying in tone and pace, acted with seamless naturalism and attention to detail, elegantly photographed (by Billy Williams), edited (by Richard Marden) and designed (by Luciana Arrighi, who seems to have been unable to place a single object in a room that doesn’t feel true to the film’s characters), Sunday, Blood Sunday seems to me flawless.”
— Cinema Scope
“The slight stir caused by Sunday, Blood Sunday‘s sexual frankness both during its production, when Penelope Gilliatt’s script was making the industry rounds, and upon its release in 1971 was likely a response to the material’s unprecedented casualness. ”
— Slant Magazine
Did You Know?
Sunday, Blood Sunday plotline is based on the romantic relationship between director John Schlesinger and actor John Steiner. The director is also a dedicated fan of Mozart and insisted on using the composer’s renowned trio from the sublime opera Cosí fan tutte as a major background score for the movie. Review our Gay Themed Films Here