LGBT Movies: Accounts (1983)

Teen brothers (one gay, one straight) inherit the family farm in rural Scotland. Their personalities clash but they gradually learn responsibility. Accounts aired on the UK’s Channel 4 three years after Scotland legalized same sex relations. It features subtle writing and layered performances. It also makes an interesting companion piece to 2017’s Gods Own Country.

Learn more in this spoiler filled recap.

Act One: The Family Farm

Scene One: A Farm in Scotland
MUM: You’re dad is dead. You boys own the farm now.
DONALD (closeted rugby player): Yes mum. I’ll tend the sheep.
ANDY (straight alcoholic): Yea mum. I’ll tend the cows.
ACCOUNTANT: Call me if there’s any trouble.
MUM: I’m a widow now. Come by any time.
ACCOUNTANT: I couldn’t possibly. I must be going. (Flees.)

Scene Two: Alcohol
ANDY: Let’s pick up some girls.
DONALD: Give me the keys. You’re drunk.
(Later that night Andy crawls into Donald’s bed and cuddles.)
DONALD: You have your own bed.
ANDY: I’m cold.

Scene Three: Locker Room
RUGBY COACH: Ya did good laddy. But ye gotta pass the ball to yer team mates.
DONALD: Yes sir.
RUGBY COACH: Good. Now do some naked pushups, then hop in the tub with the men.
DONALD: Oh yes sir! How does Channel 4 get away with this stuff?  

Act Two: Growing Pains

Scene Four: Dinner
DONALD: Stop getting drunk and skipping chores.
ANDY: Stop actin’ like yer better n’ me!
MUM: SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR JAM! What’s that noise?
(The barn’s on fire! The boys scramble to get the cows to safety.)
COWS: This stunt doesn’t look safe. Moo.

Scene Five: Date Night
ANDY: Why are you wearing dad’s cuff links! You shouldn’t touch his things!
DONALD: I’m having dinner with the Accountant. Just lads bein’ lads. (Leaves.)
ANDY: That’s awfully suspicious.

Scene Six: Farm Work
(The boys shoot at crows, milk cows and help the sheep give birth. Donald puts a skin on an orphaned lamb so a new mother will accept it. It’s very Gods Own Country.)
ACCOUNTANT: The fire insurance won’t cover your debts. You need to slaughter the cows and sell the milking machine. (They do.)  
DONALD: Thank you for everything. I want you to have these. (Offers him the cuff links.)
ACCOUNTANT: I couldn’t possibly accept. I must be going. (Flees.)

Act Three: Reconciliation

Scene Seven: A Play
(Andy, Donald and the rugby team play singing cows. It’s weird.)
DONALD: Moo moo moo moo!
ACCOUNTANT: Well done. Dinner?
DONALD: Take me home for the night.
ACCOUNTANT: What? I’m not taking a boy home. I can’t see you anymore. (Flees.)

Scene Eight: Home
ANDY: You were keen on him?
DONALD: … Yes. You mind?
ANDY: No. Is it my fault?
DONALD: No. Should we stop sharing a bed?
ANDY: I still get cold. Let’s shoot at some crows. (They do.)

THE END

White Heat

I wanted to do more with my life than work in the shipyards.

Actor/Musician/Producer Bob Smeaton

Accounts was a lovely surprise. There isn’t much information about the film online. Director Michael Darlow had an extensive career in television and theater. The brothers were played by Bob Smeaton (Andy) and Michael McNally (Donald) of the band White Heat. Smeaton became an award winning director of music and arts documentaries. McNally continues to perform and teach.

It’s unclear whether the Accountant panics because Donald is male or he is a minor. He uses the word “boy.” The age of consent for homosexuals was 21 in the UK. Donald’s in his late teens and the Accountant’s in his early 40’s. Did he think they were platonic friends? Was he trying to play a mentor role?

Had you heard of this film? Or of the band White Heat? Who were the first gay teens you saw in television? Read my reviews of LGBT media here. Listen to my podcast, Rainbow Colored Glasses, here.