|The Triple Echo|
|Directed by||Michael Apted|
|Produced by||Graham Cottle|
|Written by||Robin Chapman|
|Based on||story H.E. Bates|
|Music by||Marc Wilkinson|
|Edited by||Barrie Vince|
Hemdale Film Corporation
The Triple Echo (also known as Soldier in Skirts in its U.S. release) is a 1972 British drama film directed by Michael Apted starring Glenda Jackson, Brian Deacon and Oliver Reed, and based on a novella by H.E. Bates. It was shot in Wiltshire.
In England during World War II, Alice, a woman running a farm in the countryside, discovers a young man named Barton roaming the fields. He helps around the farm and the two become friends, then lovers. Barton decides to desert the army. Alice offers him refuge in exchange for help running the farm in the absence of her husband, who has been taken prisoner by the Japanese. Barton puts Alice's ailing dog out of its misery by shooting it with her husband's shotgun.
When the military police begin to search for Barton, he must take measures to avoid being caught, so Alice helps him form the disguise of a woman, whom she says is her sister Jill. However, Barton tells people that his name is Cathy. A sergeant soon begins to take a liking to "Cathy". As Christmas approaches, the sergeant returns to invite Alice and Cathy to a Christmas party. Alice declines, but Barton, wanting to get out and have some fun, accepts the offer. Alice warns him against doing so.
During the party, the sergeant and another soldier take Cathy and a young woman into a back room to have sex, but when Jill forces the sergeant away he realises that Cathy is really a man. Barton escapes, and the military police follow and hunt him near to the farm house where Alice is waiting. Because Alice does not want Barton to suffer at the hands of the soldiers, she shoots him dead with her husband's shotgun.
- Glenda Jackson as Alice
- Oliver Reed as Sergeant
- Brian Deacon as Barton
- Anthony May as Subaltern
- Gavin Richards as Stan
- Jenny Lee-Wright as Christine
- Kenneth Colley as Provo Corporal
- Daphne Heard as Shopkeeper
- Zelah Clarke as First Girl
- Colin Rix as Compere
- Ioan Meredith as Guard
The film was based on a novella by H Bates, which he started writing in 1968 although he had had the idea since World War Two. The novella was published in 1970. The Guardian said it had "a persistent smell of fabrication right through".
In March 1972 it was announced that the film version would star Glenda Jackson and Oliver Reed, reuniting them after their success in Women in Love. It was an early movie from Hemdale. Director Michael Apted later said the only reason he could make the film "was Glenda was available and was willing to appear for a much smaller than usual fee."
The Guardian called it "nothing very special... but at least it's a good story, well told. The same paper later said the movie "got some good critical reaction but did nothing at the box office."
In 1973 Jackson said she was "fairly happy" with the film.
Michel Apted was nominated a Golden Prize Award for the film at the 8th Moscow International Film Festival. (The film had been banned from the festival originally but this was lifted after a small cut was made to a sex scene.)
The film has never been made available on DVD format in the United Kingdom or United States. It was however released in Germany under the title, "Desertiert:Der Kampf ums Überleben", on 1 December 2016 from Medien GmbH distribution. The film has also been released in Spain as "La Máscara y la Piel".
On 10 January 2019, it was announced that The Triple Echo will be made available on Blu-ray from Powerhouse films subsidiary, Indicator. It features a new 2K restoration of the film as well as original Mono audio. A number of new special features are included and limited edition exclusive booklet with the first pressing. The set was released on 25 March 2019.
- "The Triple Echo 1972". YouTube. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Book Report: HE Bates The Triple Echo". scholieren.com. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- stated in end credits
- TRIPLE ECHO, The Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 39, Iss. 456, (Jan 1, 1972): 261.
- Pauline Kael, Reeling, Marion Boyars Publishers 1976, ISBN 978-0714525822.
- Short circuit: Alex Hamilton interviews H.E. Bates, profile writer of ahort stories and author of 'Triple Echo' The Guardian 16 Nov 1972: 12.
- A respecter of mysteries Nye, Robert. The Guardian 3 Dec 1970: 9.
- When Arkin Meets Vonnegut: Alan Arkin By A. H. WEILER. New York Times 26 Mar 1972: D13
- Britain's Hemdale Expands From Film Into Legit; Pic Deals Also Pending Variety; Los Angeles Vol. 268, Iss. 11, (Oct 25, 1972): 29.
- Malcolm, Derek (19 November 1974). "Access and consent: Derek Malcolm meets the director of Stardust". The Guardian. p. 10.
- Bated breath Malcolm, Derek. The Guardian 16 Nov 1972: 12.
- "A rather funny lady". The Guardian. 11 April 1973. p. 11.
- "8th Moscow International Film Festival (1973)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- Russia lifts film ban The Guardian 10 July 1973: 7.
- "Desertiert - Der Kampf ums Überleben". Amazon.de. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "The Triple Echo (soldado en faldas)". Amazon.es. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "Indicator/Powerhouse Films Announce March Blu-ray Releases". Blu-ray.com. 10 January 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.