The Raging Moon

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The Raging Moon
"The Raging Moon" (1971).jpg
British 1-sheet poster by Arnaldo Putzu
Directed by Bryan Forbes
Written by Peter Marshall
Bryan Forbes
Starring Malcolm McDowell
Nanette Newman
Georgia Brown
Barry Jackson
Cinematography Tony Imi
Edited by Timothy Gee
Distributed by MGM-EMI
Release date
Running time
110 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £260,000[1]

The Raging Moon (released in the US as Long Ago, Tomorrow) is a 1971 British film starring Malcolm McDowell and Nanette Newman and based on the book by British novelist Peter Marshall.[2] Adapted and directed by Bryan Forbes (Newman's husband), this 'romance in wheelchairs' was considered unusual in its time owing to the sexual nature of the relationship between McDowell and Newman, who play disabled people. The film received two Golden Globe nominations, for Best Foreign Film (English Language), and Best Song for Long Ago Tomorrow.[3]


Bruce Pritchard (Malcolm McDowell) is a 24-year-old working-class man and amateur soccer player with a passion for life. All this changes when he suddenly finds himself struck down by an incurable degenerative disease and needing to used a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He makes a self-imposed exile to a church-run home for the disabled, believing that it is best for his immediate family to forget about him the way he is now. His bitterness at his fate and his dislike of the rules and regulations of the place only serve to make him more withdrawn and angry at his enforced imprisonment.

Pritchard gets to know a fellow patient, Jill Matthews (Nanette Newman), a 31-year-old woman from a wealthy family, also a wheelchair user due to polio. Bruce begins to harbour romantic affections for Mathews but before he can make his feelings known in a letter, she leaves the institution to return home and marry long-time fiancé Geoffrey. But Jill quickly realizes the relationship is half-hearted on Geoffrey's part, and after breaking off the engagement she returns to the institution.

Gradually she is able to get through Pritchard's shell of cynicism and lack of respect for authority, bringing back life to his existence. In the process, the two begin to fall in love and admit their feelings for each other, consummating a relationship. But their sexual encounter is physically dangerous for Matthews, who dies the day after the couple makes love for the first time.



Producer Bruce Curtis initially tried to finance the film Columbia, but was turned down.[4]

Bryan Forbes was in the unusual position of being able to green light his own film as he was head of production for EMI at the time. Forbes commented that he was highly criticized in some quarters for directing a film while running the studio, even though he did not take any extra salary as the director. Once the film was made some executives at EMI did not want it released but Forbes held a successful test screening which secured company support.[1]


The film was not a success at the box office.[5]


  1. ^ a b Bryan Forbes, A Divided Life, Mandarin Paperbacks, 1993 p 174, 180-183
  2. ^ "The Raging Moon (1970)". BFI. 
  3. ^ "Long Ago Tomorrow - Golden Globes". 
  4. ^ Dropping the Scalpel: Film Notes Columbia Frowns Speeds the Turnover Refuge From Roles By Judith Martin. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 28 Feb 1969: B12. Turn on hit highlighting for speaking browsers by selecting the Enter buttonHide highlighting
  5. ^ The eclipse of the moon man Malcom, Derek. The Guardian, 26 March 1971: 15.

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