Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

British classics: A Kind of Loving, 1962

Now for a gold-plated British classic from those heady early Sixties years.
How they lived then: Alan Bates and June Ritchie watch small black and white television with grim mother-in-law Thora Hird, just one moment from John Schlesinger's perfect slice of Northern life in the early '60s: A KIND OF LOVING. We also see factory workers going to work, full cinemas and lovers meeting in crowded cafes ...

1960 gave us SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING, after 1959's ROOM AT THE TOP and LOOK BACK IN ANGER; 1961 came up with A TASTE OF HONEY and VICTIM; 1962 also had THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER, while John Schlesinger scored again in 1963 with BILLY LIAR, another affectionate slice of Northern life and humour; along with Losey's icy THE SERVANT and Dearden's A PLACE TO GO, Winner's WEST 11, and TWO LEFT FEET and THE WORLD TEN TIMES OVER, while 1964 came up trumps with A HARD DAY'S NIGHT and THE LEATHER BOYS and THE SYSTEM, and 1965 caught the moment with THE KNACK and HELP!  and also those two Edna O'Brien adaptations: THE GIRL WITH GREEN EYES and I WAS HAPPY HERE, set in London and Ireland. (See British and London labels for reviews on most of these).
So, A KIND OF LOVING is still marvellous now, screenplay by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall (who scripted BILLY LIAR) from Stan Barslow's timeless novel. 
Vic is an essentially decent guy who falls into lust with Ingrid, a typist at the factory where he works. They have a sort of affair which he does not take seriously, but then she is pregnant. Back then, they had to get married and move in with her disapproving mother, the fearsome Thora Hird. It is a pleasure seeing how this is resolved. A timeless British classic then, with all at their best. There is a lot of gritty humour too.

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