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Room at the Top (1959)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  22 January 1959 (UK)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,157 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 20 critic

An ambitious young accountant schemes to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

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(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: Room at the Top (1959)

Room at the Top (1959) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Heather Sears ...
...
...
Charles Soames
...
Elspeth
Allan Cuthbertson ...
Raymond Huntley ...
John Westbrook ...
Ambrosine Phillpotts ...
Richard Pasco ...
Teddy
Beatrice Varley ...
Aunt
Delena Kidd ...
Eva
...
Cyril
April Olrich ...
Mavis
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Savage Story of lust and ambition See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 January 1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Der Weg nach oben  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vivien Leigh was initially offered the role later played by Simone Signoret. See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in 1947, but all the women's fashions and hairstyles are strictly in the contemporary 1958 mode, when the film went before the cameras. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Susan Brown: Joe, wasn't it absolutely the most wonderful wedding? Now we really belong to each other, till death us do part. Darling, you're crying! I believe you really are sentimental after all.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet: No Sex Please, We're Brickies (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Arranged by Lambert Williamson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Outstanding angry young man film.
25 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great performance from Laurence Harvey marzmello
If Warnley is Bradford, what is Dufton? margot
similar films daleac
DVD? haciendacaliente
What year was Room at the Top released? 58 or 59? roryo-2
Not just this, the sequel is soon to be on DVD too! nowisthetimeforheroes
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