The film vividly traces his journey from pariah to eventual hero, detailing the tortures, indignities and humiliations that Yakov suffers along the way.
Elizabeth Hartman, Hugh Griffith, Georgia Brown, Dirk Bogarde, Ian Holm, Carol White, David Opatoshu, Murray Melvin, David Warner and, of course, the star of the piece - the equally singular and much-missed Alan Bates.
Bates died in 2003 at the age of 69 and, despite his virile screen presence and vigorous performances, is barely remembered today, his name rarely invoked (if at all) in film pieces. During his life, he made 55 films (including one short, 1972's "Second Best," adapted from the D.H. Lawrence story), along with 30 appearances in assorted television movies and series.
His first film role of any consequence was as Laurence Olivier's son in Tony Richardson's "The Entertainer" (1960), followed by Bryan Forbes' "Whistle Down the Wind" (1961), John Schlesinger's "A Kind of Loving" (1962), Clive Donner's "Nothing But the Best" and Michael Cacoyannis' "Zorba the Greek" (both 1964), and Silvio Narizzano's "Georgy Girl" (1966), in which he and Charlotte Rampling made an incredibly hot couple.
But Philippe de Broca's hugely popular "King of Hearts"/"Le roi de coeur" (also '66) was, arguably, Bates' breakthrough role.
Notes in Passing: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will air the Bates-Russell collaboration, "Women in Love," @ 4;30 a.m. (est) on Saturday, February, 23rd. And Bates film for DeBroca, "King of Hearts," is currently screening in New York at the Quad Cinema (34 West 13th Street) in celebration of its 50th anniversary. This is a 4K restoration/revival.
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~poster art for "The Fixer"
~Bates with Jennie Linden in "Women in Love" and a moment from the film's nude wrestling match with Oliver Reed
~Photography: United Artists 1969©