A Severed Head (film)

A Severed Head is a 1970 British comedy-drama film directed by Dick Clement, and starring Claire Bloom, Lee Remick, Richard Attenborough, and Ian Holm. It is based on the novel of the same name by Iris Murdoch.

A Severed Head
Directed byDick Clement
Produced byElliott Kastner
Alan Ladd, Jr.
Denis Holt
Written byFrederic Raphael
Based onA Severed Head
by Iris Murdoch
StarringLee Remick
Richard Attenborough
Ian Holm
Claire Bloom
Music byStanley Myers
CinematographyAustin Dempster
Edited byPeter Weatherley
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • December 1970 (1970-12) (UK)
  • 28 March 1971 (1971-03-28) (USA)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Antonia is the pampered wife of an upper class wine merchant, Martin Lynch-Gibbon. She tells her husband that she is in love with their best friend, psychiatrist Palmer Anderson. Palmer and Antonia wish to deal with the situation in a civilized manner by remaining friends with Martin.

Meanwhile, Martin tries to keep his mistress, Georgie Hands, a secret. However, Palmer's sister, Honor Klein, who once taught Georgie at Oxford University, tells Palmer and Antonia about their affair. Honor then introduces Georgie to Martin's womanizing brother, Alexander. This is just the start of the various liaisons.



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