Director Lester continued to defy convention as he had with A HARD DAY'S NIGHT in this, his follow-up feature. The style is extremely fast paced; the characters are nonstop talkers who move about incessantly. Essentially created in the cutting room, Lester's films rely upon techniques which
have been commonly employed throughout commercial film history, but which are combined in a unusual and flamboyant, if not always successful manner.
Tolen's (Brooks) luck with women ("the knack") baffles his schoolteacher landlord Colin (Crawford). This resident stud takes the eager but shy man under his wing and advises him to buy a new brass bed. After finding an appropriate model, they roll it through London streets to their digs, causing
traffic jams and general hysteria. Along the way, they meet Nancy (Tushingham), who is new to London and is trying to find a place to stay. She accompanies them on their trek home, and Colin gets a yen for her. Back at the boarding house, however, Tolen takes control and runs off with her on his
motorbike. Colin follows in hot pursuit, only to find the couple in a park, where Nancy is loudly accusing Tolen of rape. Losing his patience with this unusually (but justifiably) uncooperative woman, Tolen makes room for Colin.
The characters are deliberately little more than cardboard types. They talk all the time, but never say much of anything. They do, however, convey quite a bit of personality, which can be attributed to Lester's not over-dramatizing any situations and his reliance upon semi-improvisational
material. Such an endlessly tricksy style does miss occasionally, but what often emerges is a genuinely energetic celebration of 1960s youth. A film of sunshiny, horny dreams and determinedly chic comic anarchy, this manic display remains a zingy if slightly dated adaptation of Ann Jellicoe's
fascinating original play.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: Director Lester continued to defy convention as he had with A HARD DAY'S NIGHT in this, his follow-up feature. The style is extremely fast paced; the characters are nonstop talkers who move about incessantly. Essentially created in the cutting room, Lester… (more)