Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
United Kingdom, 1959. Romulus Films, Remus. Screenplay by Neil Paterson, based on the novel by John Braine. Cinematography by Freddie Francis. Produced by James Woolf, John Woolf. Music by Mario Nascimbene. Production Design by Ralph W. Brinton. Costume Design by Rahvis. Film Editing by Ralph Kemplen.
Mix glossy soap opera with gritty kitchen-sink drama and you have this enjoyable British import. A working-class industrialist (Laurence Harvey) trying to make it up the corporate ladder indulges in two love affairs: one with a sexy, older and unhappily married Frenchwoman (Simone Signoret), and one with his boss’s young daughter (Heather Sears), whose relationship with him is a good career stepping stone. Things get tricky when Signoret starts to actually win his heart and Sears gets a bit complicated in her demands on him. As with all movies about lurid sexual matters made in the fifties and sixties, this one isn’t nearly as mature and realistic as it must have seemed upon its release. Signoret is stunning, though she had much better roles in French films, and Hermione Baddeley shines as her neighbour and confidante.
Academy Awards: Best Actress (Simone Signoret); Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Laurence Harvey); Best Supporting Actress (Hermione Baddeley); Best Director (Jack Clayton)
Cannes Film Festival Award: Best Actress (Simone Signoret)
Golden Globe Award: Samuel Goldwyn Award
Nomination: Best Actress-Drama (Simone Signoret)