- Beautifully Sensitive and telling without being too sentimental
Brilliant performances by cadly Kenneth More, astonishing Danielle Darrieux, and winsome Susannah York highlight this perfectly told coming-of-age tale with an amazing balance of whimsy, insight, intelligence, and reality. A must-see for romantics of all ages.
- The Kind Of Film They Don't Make Anymore
Greengage Summer (Loss Of Innocence, American release title) is a wonderful, nostalgic movie that I love to watch over and over again. How can you improve upon Kenneth More looking over at a blossoming Susannah York in one of her first films, tasting the perspiration on her face and saying sweetly: "Dew of Joss"? Sigh. So romantic!
The performances of all the children are first rate, and the actor who plays Paul is perfectly slimey for his part. You can almost smell him through the tv screen! In the novel by Rumer Godden I think there were two more children than in the movie, but who's counting? Best scenes: the French countryside, the sightseeing tour to the church, winery and the cafe, the dance scene at the hotel, and Eliot saying goodbye to Joss at the end. The movie also boasts rather gorgeous music that is available on CD. Check it out. I sounded out the main theme and play it on my piano quite often.
They just don't make films like this anymore, and if they tried to they would have the main characters in bed together in the first five minutes. Yuck. Give me yesterday, and understated romance over the tripe they call entertainment today.
- Let's keep hoping for a DVD (or VHS) release!
I'm surprised to find that this has not been given a video release. More and more films from the various studios' archives are finding their way to a public that craves the kind of entertainment that was once much more available to the those willing to attend a film in a theatrical setting, that is, films with a respect for adult sensibilities and without the tiniest nod to the sensation-seekers who crave explosions, mindless (and excruciatingly extended sequences of) violence and special effects which are, let's face it, beginning the inevitable downward spiral of diminishing returns. Really! Are any but those who refuse to refine their tastes in theater, films, etc., still impressed by the ever more astonishing demonstrations of the computer geniuses' craft and which are the reason that dozens and dozens of artisans make a closing credit rollup almost as long as a typical film these days (and which precious few theater patrons will now sit through)?
I was able to see "Loss of Innocence" (its American release title) at a first-run theater in Beverly Hills, California and the print was absolutely pristine, doing full justice to Freddie Young's exceptionally fine work behind the Technicolor cameras. A projectionist of my acquaintance at the time told me that Columbia Pictures Corporation was especially particular about the condition and presentation of first-run films released by that studio, sending technicians frequently during first-run engagements of Columbia films to check on the condition of projection equipment, correcting any flaws that may have shown up in the reels, the proper masking of projected films according to the aspect ratio used in production, and so forth. I no longer live in southern California but I'm somewhat reluctant to believe that such care (and expense) is still lavished on films at first-run houses down there these days. It certainly doesn't appear to be true here in the Northwest.
Anyway, with the lovely scenery of its French countryside settings and two truly beautiful actresses (the exquisitely young English rose, Miss York, and that elegant flower of French womanhood, Madame Darrieux) to delight one's eyes, plus a delicately scripted story of more than unusual interest, this is a film I shall always remember as one of the most ravishing cinema-going experiences that I can recall. I join others who have commented on this site in hoping that we will one day be rewarded with a happy refreshing of our memories with a video release of this gem.
- Never Forgotten
I was only 10 when I saw this film but I'd been seeing films for around 3 years at least already so I really did understand what was going on, etc. For some reason, I OFTEN think of this movie and have been trying to remember the title for years to see if it's available for purchase. I can't wait to see how I like it now, 40 years later... for some reason that countryside is in my mind and I must see it again.
This film is a distant memory of Sunday afternoons in my teens when this film was still played in the UK. How can we get it released on video? The innocence of the girl falling in love with the thief, it was gripping. ten out of ten
- a well-kept secret
In the early 1960s there were several movies that put a teen-aged girl into a moral dilemma that was difficult even for people three times her age. But the performances of Jill Haworth in "Exodus," Hayley Mills in "The Chalk Garden" and Merrie Spaeth and Tippy Walker in "The World of Henry Orient" are overshadowed by that of Susannah York in "The Greengage Summer" (1961).
York plays a responsible person who falls in love with a criminal -- a professional thief, played by Kenneth More, who finds her very attractive. She is sixteen, he is in his 40s. Without parents for the summe, she is in charge of her younger siblings; he is single and carefree. But there is no seduction here, from either party.
Susannah York's Joss trembles and blushes as someone ready to throw pride and morality to the wind in the name of love. Kenneth More's Eliot, initially a copy of Charles Boyer's Pepe in "Algiers" (1940), becomes genuinely awkward as he tries to understand her exuberance, and as he rediscovers a pre-criminal sense of honor within himself. The relationship of these two unlikely lovers is erotic, but without the smutty sex we now expect from such cinematic situations, and without the sermonizing or soft-focus slow motion that became fashionable for awhile a few years after this movie and those with a similar theme.
Realistic dialogue and lush background scenes are juxtaposed against embarrassing and unspoken emotions, making this film a haunting exposition.
- A perfect film
Susannah York is magnificent as the young girl who must protect and nurture her siblings while being attacked by unfamiliar situations and coming-of-age. Kenneth More is magnificent as the suave thief with whom she gets enthralled. And Danielle Darrieux is a study in magnificence as the past-her-prime working girl resigned to her fate. The photography is luscious. And the dialogue is utterly realistic with witty repartee giving way to raw feelings. This is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time.
Writing credits (in alphabetical order)
Rumer Godden also novel The Greengage Summer
Kenneth More ...
Danielle Darrieux Danielle Darrieux ...
Susannah York Susannah York ...
Claude Nollier Claude Nollier ...
Jane Asher Jane Asher ...
Elizabeth Dear Elizabeth Dear ...
Richard Williams Richard Williams ...
David Saire David Saire ...
Raymond Gérôme Raymond Gérôme ...
Maurice Denham Maurice Denham ...
André Maranne André Maranne ...
Harold Kasket Harold Kasket ...
Jacques B. Brunius Jacques B. Brunius ...
Joy Shelton Joy Shelton ...
Balbina Balbina ...
Release Date:14 August 1961 (Sweden)