Watched: August 25 2018
Director: Karel Reisz
Starring: Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts, Hylda Baker, Norman Rossington, Bryan Pringle, Edna Morris
Runtime: 1h 29min
Arthur Seaton (Finney) is an Angry Young Man™ who works in a factory and spends his weekends drinking, annoying the neighbours, and sleeping with his coworker’s wife, Brenda (Roberts).
Even striking up a relationship with the charming and beautiful Doreen (Field) does nothing to break his illicit affair. However, he runs into trouble when Brenda becomes pregnant while Doreen is ready to go to the next level.
Arthur is immature and oppositional, but he’s charming and seems to have a good heart. Although it’s sometimes deeply buried… His greatest fear is to turn into his parents, who he feels have not really lived life – just survived it. Still, getting away from that life is harder than it seems, and while he has ambition, he has no real outlet for it, or any sort of plan to alter the direction of his life.
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is an early British New Wave kitchen sink drama (check out our terminology!), and the very sophisticated, educated and cultural Sister the Oldest actually read the book at some point. Oh yes.
It’s an engaging film, and we loved it. When it comes to social realism, none of them would be our first pick for weekend entertainment, but we never regret watching them. This particular one was also not quite as bleak as we were afraid it would be, although we suppose Arthur’s greatest fears were likely to come true judging by the ending…
What we learned: Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
Next time: Shoot the Piano Player/Tirez sur le pianiste (1960)