The Go-Between

Synopsis: Summer 1900: Queen Victoria's last and the summer Leo turns 13. He's the guest of Marcus, a wealthy classmate, at a grand home in rural Norfolk. Leo is befriended by Marian, Marcus's twenty-something sister, a beauty about to be engaged to Hugh, a viscount and good fellow. Marian buys Leo a forest-green suit, takes him on walks, and asks him to carry messages to and from their neighbor, Ted Burgess, a bit of a rake. Leo is soon dissembling, realizes he's betraying Hugh, but continues as the go-between nonetheless, asking adults naive questions about the attractions of men and women. Can an affair between neighbors stay secret for long? And how does innocence end?
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Joseph Losey
Production: Columbia Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 10 nominations.
116 min

The past is a foreign country.

They do things differently there.

- This is Dry Toast.

- Hello Dry Toast.

Come on slug.

That's my father.

Come on !

...or, as he was called usually

by the company,

who affected what Nate

called "napping English",

the squire, who was leader

of the opposite faction.

The rank and fortune of the lady,

Who's that ?

The pretensions to beauty

as well as talent,

though the former was

something faded,

My sister is very beautiful.


What's that ?

It's a deadly nightshade, you oaf.

Atropa belladonna.

- Atropa what ?

- Atropa belladonna. It's poisonous.

Every part of it is poison.

Die !

Lady Penelope shrieked faintly, hid her

eyes and hurried back from the bed.

while Lord Etherington, his look startling

with the complication of feelings,

remained gazing on the poor woman.

Didn't you say his mother was

a widow, Marcus ?

I think so.

I don't really know very much about him.

He seems to be a nice lad.

I do have an impression that he lives in

rather a small house with his mother.

Yes. He seems a very nice boy.

Now, is everyone here ?

Ah, Leo. Good evening.

Good evening, Mrs. Maudsley.

Mr. Maudsley.

Now, let us go in to dinner.

You were in cranking form

today at croquet, Marian.

- Was I ?

- Come along, Marian. Marcus.

Marian is quite formidable at croquet.

Am I ?

I believe we must be weary

of you, Leo.

I understand you're a magician.

Is that true ?

Well, not for real. Only, you know...

At school. Anyway, it was supposed

to be a secret, actually.

His curses are fearful.

He cast a fiendish spell

on two boys at school.

They fell of the roof.

And were severely mutilated.

Did they die ?

Oh, no. They were just a little,

you know... severely mutilated.

Was it difficult to arrange ?

I mean, to get them to fall off

the roof without killing them.

Well, it wasn't a killing curse, you see.

There are curses and curses.

It depends on the curse.

How frightening.

You're not going to bewitch

us here, are you ?

Oh, no. I shouldn't think so.


Have you been enjoying yourself ?

- Yes, sir.

- Good.

Pretty warm. What does it say ?

- 83.

- Warm.

The suit is a little warm, isn't it ?

No, sir.

Enjoying yourself ?

Yes, thank you, sir.


There's another thing.

When you undress you mustn't fold up

your clothes and put them on the chest.

You must leave them lying wherever

they happen to fall.

The servants will pick them up.

That's what they're for.

You are looking hot. Haven't

you anything cooler to wear ?

I'm not hot, really.

- That's a Norfolk jacket, isn't it ?

- Yes.

Well, it's quite appropriate,

then, isn't it ?

After all, we are at Norfolk.

Have we a pair of bellows, mama ?

Why ?

To cool Leo.

Does Leo need cooling ?

I may look hot, but I'm really

quite cool underneath.

Did you leave your summer

clothes at home ?

I expect mother forgot to put them in.

Why don't you write and ask

her to send them ?

Oh, that would take too long, mama.

Let me take him in to Norridge tomorrow

and get him a new outfit.

Would you like that, Leo ?

Well, I haven't any money.

At least only...

Oh, they can be your birthday presents

from us. When is your birthday ?

Well, it's on the 27th of

this month, actually.

I was born under the sign of Leo.

Oh, good. I can give you a lion skin.

Or a mane.

Well, we'll go tomorrow.

Wouldn't you rather wait until

Monday, when Hugh will be here ?

Norridge would hardly be a treat for

Hugh, mama. Trailing around the shops ?

Besides, by Monday Leo

will have melted into butter.

And all he'll need will be a muslin bag.

May we go, mama ?

Yes, of course you may.

You flew too near the sun

and you were scorched.

What did your father do ?

He worked in a bank, actually.

And he was a pacifist.

And he was a book collector.

He liked books very much.

And so he collected them.

That was his hobby.

Mother said they're quite valuable.

We might have to sell them.

Here's your pudding.

- What's it like ?

- Very good.

Used any black magic on

anyone lately ?

Not really, no.

I envy you in your power.

What's it like to have such

power at your fingertips ?

Oh, it makes you feel fairly good.

But I only have used it

at school, you know.

Can you teach me?

I could use it here.

Would you really want to ?

No, not really.

The results might be too alarming.

Would you like to amuse yourself

in the cathedral for a while ?

I have some shopping to do.

Yes, certainly.

Can you amuse yourself

in a cathedral ?

Well, it wasn't a killing curse, you see.

There are curses and curses.

It depends on the curse.

150 guineas. Mr. Curteen.

All right, gentlemen.

Next lot, number 68.

Lot number 68. Property of a gentleman

named Ditto.

Bay guilding. Seven-year-old.

Sixteen, two hands.

How much do I say for it ?

300 regularly.

How much for it ? 150 guineas. 120.

Who will stop at 100 ?

100 guineas, thank you. sir.

Most impressive. Superb.

What a splendid green.

Remarkably elegant.

- Most fetching.

- Charming.

Did you get the tie at Cello and Cello ?

Of course.

And where did you get the shoes ?

Sterling and Porter.

What green is this ?

Lincoln green.

I thought so.

I shall dub you Sir Robin Hood.

Do you feel different ?

I feel quite another person.

Let me have a proper look at you.

I think he does very well.

And I hope that your mother

will think so too.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter (; 10 October 1930 – 24 December 2008) was a Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party (1957), The Homecoming (1964), and Betrayal (1978), each of which he adapted for the screen. His screenplay adaptations of others' works include The Servant (1963), The Go-Between (1971), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), The Trial (1993), and Sleuth (2007). He also directed or acted in radio, stage, television, and film productions of his own and others' works. Pinter was born and raised in Hackney, east London, and educated at Hackney Downs School. He was a sprinter and a keen cricket player, acting in school plays and writing poetry. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art but did not complete the course. He was fined for refusing National service as a conscientious objector. Subsequently, he continued training at the Central School of Speech and Drama and worked in repertory theatre in Ireland and England. In 1956 he married actress Vivien Merchant and had a son, Daniel, born in 1958. He left Merchant in 1975 and married author Lady Antonia Fraser in 1980. Pinter's career as a playwright began with a production of The Room in 1957. His second play, The Birthday Party, closed after eight performances, but was enthusiastically reviewed by critic Harold Hobson. His early works were described by critics as "comedy of menace". Later plays such as No Man's Land (1975) and Betrayal (1978) became known as "memory plays". He appeared as an actor in productions of his own work on radio and film. He also undertook a number of roles in works by other writers. He directed nearly 50 productions for stage, theatre and screen. Pinter received over 50 awards, prizes, and other honours, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005 and the French Légion d'honneur in 2007. Despite frail health after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in December 2001, Pinter continued to act on stage and screen, last performing the title role of Samuel Beckett's one-act monologue Krapp's Last Tape, for the 50th anniversary season of the Royal Court Theatre, in October 2006. He died from liver cancer on 24 December 2008. more…

All Harold Pinter scripts | Harold Pinter Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Go-Between" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Go-Between


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.