October 01, 1979 12:00 PM

During World War II there was a lot of hanky-panky between U.S. troops stationed in Britain and the local women. Veteran director John (Marathon Man) Schlesinger is only partially successful in his attempt to portray these couplings. Richard Gere, terrific in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, is barely adequate as a GI cook who falls in love with a grocer’s daughter. The girl, Lisa Eichhorn, is smashing, combining the looks of Lee Remick with a demure sexiness. Perhaps the film’s most intriguing romance—between Vanessa Redgrave as a married woman and William Devane as an American officer—is reduced to a mere subplot. Schlesinger’s major problem may be in trying to paint too broad a canvas, trying to tell the story of a whole town. Though some of the photography is stunning and the mood of wartime Europe is warmly rendered, this is not a movie to write home about. (R)

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