Veteran director Robert Aldrich’s intense adaptation of Frank Marcus’ play centres on the troubled relationship and long-time lesbian affair of two women.
Lukas Heller’s screenplay is an engrossing study of the grotesque as Beryl Reid’s tour de force in bitchiness and hysteria has a corrosive effect on those around her.
The end result is sensitive and sympathetic at times, but with its stereotyping, it’s like yet another brutal instalment of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). Beryl Reid brilliantly recreates her stage role with a marvellously energetic performance.
Bitchy ageing soap star, June (Reid), sees her life begin to fall apart when she learns her character of Sister George – a motorbiking, hymn-singing no-nonsense nurse – is about to be killed off in a long-running vapid BBC television afternoon serial to raise dwindling ratings.
Meanwhile, her neurotic younger lesbian partner Childie (Susannah York) begins an affair with predatory TV producer Mercy Croft (Coral Browne). She takes to the bottle and her neurosis makes George unbearable to those around her, especially her vapid lover.
June “George” Buckridge