A taste of the British "Kitchen Sink" school at its best. Honest depiction of life in the British working class with an offbeat treatment, superb acting, realistic direction, and a complex script.
Tushingham plays a 17-year-old who lives with her promiscuous, alcoholic mother, Bryan, in various furnished rooms Tushingham is gawky, not terribly attractive, and desperate to be held. On holiday in Blackpool, she wanders around the docks and meets Danquah, a black sailor on a brief shore leave.
She sleeps with him. On returning home, she discovers that her mother has impusively married current boyfriend Stephens; the girl is to be left on her own. She secures employment in a shoe store and meets Melvin, a gentle and kind homosexual who needs a place to stay. They move in together. Then
Tushingham realizes that she's carrying Danquah's child.
The movie was shot for a pittance on location in Blackpool and on the Salford docks. Delaney was only 19 when she wrote the play, which had a long run in the West End as well as on Broadway after first trying out at Stratford-upon-Avon in May 1958. Tushingham had been a backstage worker and did a
bit in Arnold Wesker's play "The Kitchen" at Liverpool Rep before she answered an ad, walked in, auditioned, and won this plum role. Bryan had spent most of her career as a comedienne in movies since she began in ODD MAN OUT. Casting her here was an inspired choice as she showed her scope. If you
have a sharp ear, you may be able to recognize Johnny Dankworth's theme from SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING, which was uncredited. Richardson coproduced that film with Harry Saltzman, so it can be assumed he had permission for the tune's use. The hit song "A Taste of Honey" had nothing to do
with this film. It was written by Ric Marlow and Bobby Scott and traded on the success of the movie, which won Cannes Film Festival awards for Melvin and Tushingham as well as British Film Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actress (Bryan), Best Screenplay (Delaney and Richardson), and Most
Promising Actress (Tushingham).
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A taste of the British "Kitchen Sink" school at its best. Honest depiction of life in the British working class with an offbeat treatment, superb acting, realistic direction, and a complex script. Tushingham plays a 17-year-old who lives with her promiscu… (more)