Like many british films of this period , this one came and went largely unheralded which is a great pity as it is a very good understated film that deals with the complexities of relationships within the framework of a teacher and a student who develops an obsessive love for him. Laurence Olivier does a fine job in a role that would have more naturally suited Michael Redgrave or Alec Guinness . Indeed , Olivier was criticised by some for playing the sensitive,weak romantic idealist instead of an outgoing, commanding figure more traditionally associated with him. The critics got it very wrong as they often do when an actor steps away from type. His impassioned courtroom speech is jaw-droppingly well done and the scenes with Sarah Miles have genuine poignancy.Miles gives a very convincing portrait of youthful emotional angst and Simone Signoret does a good job as Olivier's tired and depressed wife. A young Terence Stamp is charismatic as the cruel and arrogant class lout and the rest of the cast gives good support. Lets hope more of these well crafted and intelligent british films see the lght of day.