7.5/10
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49 user 28 critic

Room at the Top (1959)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 22 January 1959 (UK)
Trailer
2:39 | Trailer
An ambitious young accountant plots to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director:

Jack Clayton

Writers:

Neil Paterson (screenplay), John Braine (adapted from the novel by)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simone Signoret ... Alice Aisgill
Laurence Harvey ... Joe Lampton
Heather Sears ... Susan Brown
Donald Wolfit ... Mr. Brown
Donald Houston ... Charles Soames
Hermione Baddeley ... Elspeth
Allan Cuthbertson ... George Aisgill
Raymond Huntley ... Mr. Hoylake
John Westbrook ... Jack Wales
Ambrosine Phillpotts ... Mrs. Brown
Richard Pasco ... Teddy
Beatrice Varley Beatrice Varley ... Aunt
Delena Kidd Delena Kidd ... Eva
Ian Hendry ... Cyril
April Olrich April Olrich ... Mavis
Learn more

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Storyline

The English factory town is dreary but Joe Lampton has landed a job with a future. To have something to do at night he joins a theatrical group. His boss's daughter Susan is playing ingenue roles on stage and in real life. She is attracted to Joe and Joe thinks about how much faster he will get ahead if he is the boss's son-in-law. This plan is complicated by his strong desire to be with an older woman who also belongs to the theatrical group. She is French and unhappily married. Joe believes he can get away with seeing both women. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess,com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It never happened on the screen quite this way before... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer James Woolf originally intended to cast Stewart Granger and Jean Simmons in the lead roles. See more »

Goofs

When Joe drives past the Browns' house for the first time, the cars parked in front are obviously cardboard cutouts. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Susan Brown: Joe, wasn't it absolutely the most wonderful wedding? Now we really belong to each other, till death us do part. Darling, you're crying! I believe you really are sentimental after all.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Man at the Top: Change Partners (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Arranged by Lambert Williamson
See more »

User Reviews

Wonderful Simone Signoret
4 November 2007 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Set in an English factory town, "Room At The Top" tells the story of an ambitious, blue-collar cad named Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey), the film's anti-hero, attracted to two women. One woman is his boss's daughter; ergo, she is his ticket to a bright financial future. The other is an older woman named Alice (Simone Signoret).

The script trends in the direction of melodramatic soap opera, with emphasis on character development. It's rather talky. And the plot is somewhat slow. On the other hand, because of the way in which sexual relationships are portrayed, the script was a bit ahead of its time. The story has a lot to say about individual sacrifice.

The film's naturalistic, B&W lighting is fine. Background music is nondescript and unimportant. The most significant element of the film, perhaps, is the high quality of acting. Both Donald Wolfit and Hermione Baddeley give really fine performances in support roles. But, of course, the real reason to see "Room At The Top" is to marvel at the outstanding performance of Simone Signoret, who won the Oscar for Best Actress in a lead role.

Although this is not my kind of film, it is very well made. It's an important film, both for its avant-garde sexual content and for the acting achievement of wonderful Simone Signoret.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

22 January 1959 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Room at the Top See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP280,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Romulus Films, Remus See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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