Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
United Kingdom, 1967. Vic Films Productions, Fenchurch. Screenplay by Nell Dunn, Ken Loach, based on the novel by Nell Dunn. Cinematography by Brian Probyn. Produced by Joseph Janni. Music by Donovan. Production Design by Bernard Sarron. Costume Design by Caroline Mott. Film Editing by Roy Watts. Golden Globe Awards 1968.
Ken Loach’s film about a woman with a penchant for bad boys might seem a bit kitschy now, but compared with the other films in the period that were cashing in on the groovy appeal of the swinging sixties, it’s downright kitchen-sink dowdy. Carol White is excellent as a woman who gives birth in the opening scene, then goes home to a coldly unaffected new father who soon afterwards goes to jail for theft. She takes up with his buddy (Terence Stamp) and finds true love with him, but given that he is in the same profession as her husband, she soon loses him to the clink as well. From there it’s a series of bad choices as she revels in her complete inability to be single. Loach never judges White’s character for her lamentable attractions, maintaining a cool distance that keeps us interested without ever forcing us to be emotionally swayed one way or the other. This makes watching a movie about someone so misguided a lot easier to watch, but of course, it also keeps us from being genuinely moved. This is the film that Steven Soderbergh used clips from for The Limey to show the younger Stamp in action.