A juvenile offender (Sir Tom Courtenay) at a tough reform school impresses its Governor (Sir Michael Redgrave) with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.
Cool, sophisticated Tolen (Ray Brooks) has a monopoly on womanizing - with a long like of conquests to prove it - while the naïve, awkward Colin (Michael Crawford) desperately wants a piece... See full summary »
Black and white, gay and straight, mothers and daughters, class, and coming of age. Jo is working class, in her teens, living with her drunk and libidinous mother in northern England. When mom marries impulsively, Jo is out on the streets; she and Geoffrey, a gay co worker who's adrift himself, find a room together. Then Jo finds herself pregnant after a one night stand with Jimmy, a Black sailor. Geoffrey takes over the preparations for the baby's birth, and becomes, in effect, the child's father. The three of them seem to have things sorted out when Jo's mother reappears on the scene, assertive and domineering. Which "family" will emerge?Written by
Dora Bryan, who plays the mother, was known for her comedy roles in films dating back to 1947. She won the BAFTA for best actress. See more »
The scene where Jo says goodbye to Jimmy for the last time is shot at Barton Swing Bridge, on the Manchester Ship Canal. Jimmy walks through the closing barriers to the end of the bridge and is next seen on the ship, but there isn't a way for Jimmy to get off the bridge and onto the ship as the far end of the bridge hangs over the canal. Jimmy would have had to fall 15 feet whilst leaping around 20-30 feet to make it to the deck of the ship. Quite an achievement in those boots. See more »
I dreamt about you last night - fell out of bed twice!
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Rita Tushingham is excellent as an unhappy girl. Her mother (Dora Bryan) is a slattern. The mother is interested primarily in her dubious good looks and gives almost no attention to daughter Jo (Tushingham.) In one of the few heart-to-heart talks -- in which she tells Jo that her (Jo's) father was a simpleton -- she says that we always remember our first.
Jo's first is indeed a very handsome sailor. He's black.
I'm not going to give anything beyond this away other than to say that Jo becomes best friends with a gay man Murray Melvin. He is the best thing that ever happened to her.
Shelagh Delaney, who wrote the play as a very young woman, wrote the screenplay with director Tony Richardson. It's opened up but not in an annoying manner. I think it's one of Richardson's very best.
I saw this when it first came out. I was a kid and very impressionable. I haven't seen it since but find I'd forgotten little. And that includes the wonderful music. I had never heard the song children sing at the beginning, about a big ship sailing, before nor have I heard it since (until tonight when I watched it again.) But I have never forgotten it.
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