Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)

Sunday Bloody Sunday




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Sunday Bloody Sunday Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

As London veers towards financial collapse, three people engage in a bi-sexual love triangle, with the world crashing down around them, in John Schlesinger's thought-provoking tale Sunday Bloody Sunday. The object of affection is Bob Elkin (Murray Head), an artist in his twenties, who constructs kinetic gallery pieces out of glass and metal. Bob divides his love between successful London doctor, Dr. Daniel Hirsch (Peter Finch) and Alex Greville (Glenda Jackson), an intelligent, divorced woman in her 30s who works at an employment office. Alex loves Bob, but when she realizes that Bob takes off to spend time with Daniel, she becomes jealous. In frustration at Bob's intimacies with Daniel, she proceeds with an affair with a middle-aged business executive (Tony Britton). They make love at Alex's home, and then Bob arrives. Bob is nonplused about her affair, but Alex decides that she can no longer continue sharing Bob with Daniel. After attending a bar mitzvah together, Alex and Bob have a confrontation, resulting in Bob having to decide on either Alex or Daniel.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Penelope Gilliatt
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 16, 2003
United Artists


Peter Finch
as Dr. Daniel Hirsh
Glenda Jackson
as Alex Greville
Murray Head
as Bob Elkin
Peggy Ashcroft
as Mrs. Greville
Tony Britton
as George Harding
Maurice Denham
as Mr. Greville
Bessie Love
as Answering Service La...
Vivian Pickles
as Alva Hodson
Frank Windsor
as Bill Hodson
Thomas Baptiste
as Prof. Johns
Harold Goldblatt
as Daniel's Father
Hannah Norbert
as Daniel's Mother
Richard Pearson
as Middle-Aged Patient
June Brown
as Woman Patient
Caroline Blakiston
as Rowing Woman
Peter Halliday
as Rowing Husband
Douglas Lambert
as Man At Party
Marie Burke
as Aunt Astrid
Jon Finch
as Scotsman
Cindy Burrows
as Alex as a Child
Kimi Tallmadge
as Lucy Hodson
Russell Lewis
as Timothy Hodson
Emma Schlesinger
as Tess Hodson
Patrick Thornberry
as Baby John Stuart Hod...
Robert Rietty
as Daniel's Brother
Ann Firbank
as Party Guest
Carl Ferber
as Hodson Child
Robin Presky
as Daniel's Nephew
Gabrielle Daye
as Wife at Hospital
Royce Mills
as Bob's Partner
John Rae
as Airline Doctor
Joe Wadham
as Lorry Driver
Liane Aukin
as Daniel's Sister-in-L...
Edward Evans
as Husband at Hospital
George Belbin
as Next-Door Neighbor
Ellis Dale
as Chemist
Monica Vasilliou
as Travel Agent
Daniel Day-Lewis
as Child Vandal
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Sunday Bloody Sunday

Critic Reviews for Sunday Bloody Sunday

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

at its best plays as a powerful, deeply human reminder of how desperate we can be for connection, however compromised it may be

Full Review… | October 25, 2012
Q Network Film Desk

Audience Reviews for Sunday Bloody Sunday

A divorcee and a doctor vie for the affections of a young businessman.
John Schlesinger's British character study is a slow-moving, complex story of human relationships and sexuality. It's a film that i should like, but I found myself waiting for a central conflict to emerge. Everything remained under the surface, in classically British subtext.
The performances are all nuanced and strong, especially Glenda Jackson and Peter Finch who play overly cerebral characters; their best work is in silence, when they're thinking, processing, scheming.
Overall, I wish I could say that I enjoyed this film more, but it failed to grab me.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

After his global triumph with the revolutionary film "Midnight Cowboy" (winner of the Best Picture Oscar for 1969), English filmmaker John Schlesinger came back in 1971 with the equally revolutionary "Sunday Bloody Sunday."

It stars Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson as two middle-aged Londoners struggling for the attention of a young bisexual artist whom they share. Murray Head plays the artist.

Partisans of gay liberation, such as myself, want very much to herald this film because of its extreme courage in openly showing two men kissing and making love and presenting it matter-of-factly. One cannot overstate how radical this was for well-known actors and an Oscar-winning director to do in 1971.

But the truth can't be denied. It's a dull film. There isn't much of a story. Schlesinger wanted to do a slice-of-life depiction of English culture at this extraordinary time when revolution was in the air. Everything was questioned, including how we raise children, establish families, and establish romantic relationships.

The problem is that the depiction is not that gripping. The slice-of-life approach can only work if the presentation of day-to-day life is filled with visual poetry. Visually, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is rather pedestrian. Whereas "Midnight Cowboy" was an overpowering work of visual art, with extraordinarily poetic use of music, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is visually flat, without the slightest bit of inspiring music. It has all the sonic poetry of a phone ringing.

What little story arc there is consists of the artist planning a long trip to America and disappointing both of his middle-aged lovers. We listen over and over to Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson whine to the artist that he's not spending enough time with them, while he flits mercurially from one to another.

This is not a menage-a-trois. There are two separate relationships. Finch and Jackson know of each other's existence, but they only meet at the tail end of the film. The artist never lies to either one of them. All cards are on the table.

I like the critique of non-monogamous "no strings" relationships, which became quite the rage in the 1970s, with young bisexual men embodying this perhaps most quintessentially. But it isn't explored in enough depth or with enough poetry to be interesting for more than about a half-hour. After an hour, I was sick of hearing the characters whine to each other, saying very little.

I love that Schlesinger and his cast had the guts to do a film like this at this time. I just wish they had more to say with the project. The first on-screen kiss between two men is not enough on which to build a film. That's just not enough to warrant 90 minutes of viewing. As I once said about Martin Scorsese's brave project "New York, New York," I admire the cojones but not the final product.

Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

Exquisite storytelling. Socially progressive and, for 1971, quite courageous.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Sunday Bloody Sunday Quotes

– Submitted by Harold M (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Harold M (4 years ago)

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