Betrayal | 1983
The screen adaptation of Harold Pinter's inventive, reverse-timescale play has Jerry (Jeremy Irons), Emma (Patricia Hodge) and Robert (Ben Kingsley) as the three points of an adulterous triangle. The story was based on the author’s secret extra-marital affair with married UK TV Joan Bakewell, while he himself was married to actress Vivien Merchant.
The setting is, predictably, London where Jerry (the Pinter character) lives in the imposing corner house at 2 Dartmouth Park Avenue, at Laurier Road, Highgate, NW5.
The restaurant in which he and Robert spar over lunch is the Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen Street, WC2, between Covent Garden And Holborn. Originally built as a Masonic hall to accommodate the meetings and dinners of Freemasons (much-used location, the Freemasons’ Hall stands alongside), the Connaught is now a suite of function rooms for hire. In 1970, it became the London hotel for John Cassavetes’ drama Husbands, with Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara and Cassavetes himself.
Jerry drinks in the now long-closed Bramley Arms on Freston Road at Bramley Road in Notting Hill, W10. In its heyday, the boozer was seen in movies such as classic Ealing comedy The Lavender Hill Mob, with Alec Guinness, Franc Roddam’s Quadrophenia, Alex Cox’s Sid And Nancy and John Boorman’s offbeat Leo the Last.
During the Seventies, this area of Notting Hill was squatted and, in a gesture inspired by Ealing’s Passport to Pimlico, seceded from the UK. When threatened with eviction, residents appealed to the UN.
Robert and Emma live west of London at 9 St Peter’s Square, Stamford Brook, W6. This seems to be Pinterland – it’s just two door away from the house occupied by Peter Finch and Anne Bancroft in Jack Clayton’s underrated 1964 The Pumpkin Eater, with a script adapted by Pinter.