Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.
A juvenile offender impresses the reform school Governor with running abilities. He is in turn given special privileges to encourage him to win a race against the local public school, but he is therefore teased his fellow rebellious peers.
Jane, a young French woman, pregnant and unmarried, takes a room in a seedy London boarding house, which is inhabited by an assortment of misfits. She considers getting an abortion, but is ... See full summary »
The English factory town is dreary but Joe Lampton has landed a job with a future. To have something to do at night he joins a theatrical group. His boss's daughter Susan is playing ingenue roles on stage and in real life. She is attracted to Joe and Joe thinks about how much faster he will get ahead if he is the boss's son-in-law. This plan is complicated by his strong desire to be with an older woman who also belongs to the theatrical group. She is French and unhappily married. Joe believes he can get away with seeing both women. Written by
Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess,com>
Although "Room at the Top" is set in Britain just after WWII, Americans of today will recognize in Joe Lambton the prototype of a yuppie an offensively pushy, horny and self-obsessed social climber with no concern for the feelings of others, but a winning charm that pushes him all the way to the top.
An orphaned working class veteran who has studied bookkeeping, Joe leaves his bombed out home for another dismal industrial town where he goes to work at a dead end civil service job, while trying to promote himself into the ranks of the wealthy by romancing the young daughter of the richest man in town. In the mean time, he commences a tawdry affair with a wealthy woman who may be a prostitute.
At almost every turn, Lambton runs afoul of the husband or lover who got there first, but he won't be deterred from his goal of climbing higher up the social ladder, no matter who it hurts and even if it means having to commit adultery or marry for money.
For all of that, he is by turns a sympathetic character, as ably portrayed by Laurence Harvey, in spite of the fact that his lust for the older rich woman, matter of factly played by Simone Signoret, has consequences that should make him seem thoroughly detestable. Seeing the world from his point of view, we can't help but feel that his upper class foils deserve the trouble he visits upon them, even if we feel that he is wrong to corrupt himself and betray his working class origins.
The first rate production is trimmed down to essentials, yet has a balletic quality of movement when it comes to even the smallest gestures that is an unusually effective combination of masterful montage, choreography and camera movement. It is a great example of how technique and subject matter can come together to achieve a flawlessly artful yet modest effect. One of the best of the British angry young man genre.
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