A lovely, gentle play has been somewhat vulgarized for the screen by its author, who also plays a small role in the film. Corbett, Dyer, Medwin, Wilde, and Futcher are a cadre of Northern England laborers who've come to London to see their team in a big soccer game. They are louts,
drunks, noisemakers, and, in general, representatives of everything bad about the British sports fan. Corbett, at the age of 39, is still a virgin. He is fanatical about sports. Before returning to Manchester, the men get together in a tacky Soho bar to toss a few down. Medwin tries to make time
with Cilento, a hostess and sometime hooker. Corbett finds her attractive and bets his pals--for 50 pounds against his precious motorcycle--that he can sleep with her. (Corbett, who is dominated by his mother, Hird, is actually tricked into the bet by his "friends"--who don't think he has a chance
because he has virtually no savoir faire.) But Cilento overhears the conversation and, when Corbett asks her out, sympathetically agrees and takes him back to her apartment. Cilento, in a controlled performance that shot her career skyward, convinces Corbett that she comes from a wealthy family
and is only hanging out in the sleazy bar as a lark. At her place she makes herself readily available, but he is far too inhibited to make a move on her, so they spend the night talking. As they do, he comes out of his shell somewhat, and she confesses her sordid background. The revelation doesn't
much matter to Corbett, as he finds many things about Cilento to love. They make plans to take a vacation together and, if they can have a good enough time, perhaps even get married. She falls asleep, and Corbett develops cold feet, sneaks out before the sun comes up, and joins his friends on the
bus back to Manchester. Then he sees a poster, and the face on it reminds him of Cilento. He has third thoughts (he's had the second thoughts already), tells his friends that he's staying, and races back to Cilento's apartment as the picture ends.
Corbett, who starred in BBC-TV's "Steptoe and Son" (which was adapted into "Sanford And Son"), plays a role much much like that of Ernest Borgnine in Paddy Chayefsky's MARTY. He is romantically naive. His relationship with his pals, who don't seem to be going anywhere in life or love, is similar.
Even the two mothers tsk-tsk in much the same fashion. And the decision to forego the approval of the male friends in favor of a possible love is the same in both movies.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: A lovely, gentle play has been somewhat vulgarized for the screen by its author, who also plays a small role in the film. Corbett, Dyer, Medwin, Wilde, and Futcher are a cadre of Northern England laborers who've come to London to see their team in a big so… (more)