18 user 13 critic

Up the Junction (1968)

R | | Drama | 13 March 1968 (USA)
Addresses some of the major 60s social issues - a bored rich London-girl from Chelsea decides to go "slumming" in depressed Battersea, getting a flat and starts factory-work and makes friends... of which one has to get an illegal abortion.


Peter Collinson


Roger Smith (screenplay), Nell Dunn (adapted from the book by)
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Suzy Kendall ... Polly
Dennis Waterman ... Pete
Maureen Lipman ... Sylvie
Adrienne Posta ... Rube
Liz Fraser ... Mrs. McCarthy
Linda Cole Linda Cole ... Pauline
Doreen Herrington Doreen Herrington ... Rita
Jessie Robins Jessie Robins ... Lil
Barbara Archer Barbara Archer ... May
Ruby Head Ruby Head ... Edith
Susan George ... Joyce
Sandra Williams Sandra Williams ... Sheilah
Michael Robbins ... Figgins
Michael Gothard ... Terry
Billy Murray ... Ray


Movie version of the BBC TV play that first addresses some of the major social issues of the day. A girl from a rich family in Chelsea is bored and decides to go "slumming" in depressed Battersea. She gets a flat and starts working in a factory and makes some friends there. One of her friends is pregnant but abortion is illegal ... Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't get caught was what she wasn't taught. See more »




R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 March 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

En la encrucijada See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BHE Films, Crasto See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"Polly" gives her age at the factory as 21 but Suzy Kendall was in fact, 31 at the time of filming. See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'The Italian Job' (2003) See more »


I Need Your Love
Written by Mike Hugg and Manfred Mann
See more »

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User Reviews

I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea
1 July 2019 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

So I was listening to Squeeze's brilliant "Up The Junction" single and thought to myself, I have to go to the source to maybe appreciate how the song came about. Chris Difford's lyric condenses the action far better than I ever could (although it doesn't slavishly follow the film's plot anyway) but I'll have a go. I've also not seen Ken Loach's earlier BBC TV adaptation of the original play, although I understand it dispenses with the central character of Suzy Kendall's mixed-up rich girl from the other side of the river who we see over the titles, walks out of her privileged world to literally see how the other half lives. Shallow and condescending as this might seem, sure enough she walks straight into a job at a sweet packaging company, where the all-female employees have an uncomplicated, enthusiastic approach to life which immediate appeals to her. There she falls under the wings of two very dissimilar looking sisters, Maureen Lipman as the older of the two, already married, separated and had an abortion, she's protective and cynical but still young enough to look to have a good time, while Adrienne Posta is her 17 year old sister, hormones flaring but with a selfish, bullying streak to her as we see when she publicly "makes over" one of her shop-floor colleagues, a shy girl possibly with learning difficulties.

We follow the three of them as they have a lark at work break-time and then at night hook up with some lairy young men at the local pub, where the sisters belt out a song with the pub group. Kendall herself meets a young delivery boy for a second-hand furniture shop from where she's buying for her cheap and cheerful flat and things you might think will continue on this bright and breezy road until the end when things take a darker turn. We see the older sister beaten up in the street by her drunken ex-husband but there's worse in store for the younger sister who falls pregnant, gets a back-street abortion which goes terribly wrong. Finally, to cap it all, the boyfriend who impregnated Corri dies in a motorbike crash, all of this with Kendall as sort of the first person witness to all of it. She wanted to see how the poor live and now she most certainly does.

The film finishes with a concentration on Kendall's new romance where he feels he's punching above his weight and is forever trying to drag her out of seedy Battersea to posher Belgravia not appreciating that she's already rejected that mode of life. However catching her on the rebound from her emotional involvement over Posta's botched abortion, he turns up in a flash car, whisks her away to the seaside to a posh hotel, takes her to a fancy restaurant and eventually proposes to her. That's when we learn that the two of them are pulling in opposite directions, he wants out of the struggling, hard-up life amongst the poor working-class world he inhabits and doesn't care how he does it, while she seems to have found herself by rejecting the privileged upper class life he craves. It's nicely encapsulated in a scene where she craves a bag of cockles at a street vendor much to his disgust.

Class consciousness was a big deal in the 60's and drove many of the kitchen-sink dramas which emerged in the British cinema of the day. Whilst that argument is over-simplified here and one can't imagine too many mummy and daddy's little girls like Kendall's Polly slumming it like this, there's definitely pathos in the portrayals of her poor workmates, although we never actually get a glimpse of the monied life that Polly's escaping.

With good use of real-life locations, fine naturalistic acting especially by Lipman and Posta in support, empathetic direction by Peter Collinson and a bright, psychedlicised soundtrack by Manfred Mann and Mike Hugg, although inevitably dated by its attitudes (it seems to be accepted that men can slap women about or leave them to deal with an unplanned pregnancy) "Up The Junction" still stands as a reasonably accurate and authentic snapshot of the travails of the working classes, especially women in the mid-to-late 60's.

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