Show Business: The Colors of Bates

From childhood Alan Bates has had an urge to play a romantic hero—a Rhett Butler, perhaps, carrying Scarlett O'Hara up the stairway of Tara. Instead, for most of his career he has been the antihero, borne along, as he puts it, "on the new wave of English writers —kitchen sinks and psychology." He was the funny but menacing brother in Harold Pinter's play and movie The Caretaker, the father who half mocks his helpless, brain-damaged child in the filmed version of A Day in the Life of Joe Egg, and the attractive cad in...

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