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Arthur, one of Britain's angry young men of the 1960s, is a hardworking factory worker who slaves all week at his mindless job for his modest wages. Come Saturday night, he's off to the pub for a loud and rowdy beer session. With him is Brenda, his girlfriend of the moment. Married to a fellow worker, she is nonetheless captivated by his rugged good looks and his devil-may-care attitude. Soon a new love interest Doreen enters and a week later, Brenda announces she's pregnant. She tells Arthur she needs money for an abortion, and Arthur promises to pay for it. By this time, his relationship with Doreen has ripened and Brenda, hearing of it, confronts him. He denies everything, but it's obvious that their affair is all but over. Written by
The movie that first gave me an impression of 'cinema verite'
In 1960, in a small Black Country town, I went to see this movie, with a male friend, at our local fleapit - it was a revelation. I found myself in a cinema that was a real setting for what appeared on the screen, for there Albert Finney was, not represented, was the working class bloke that sat in the picture house near to me.
Equally I knew that, on leaving, I would see his aunt (Hilda Baker) in the local chippy, and that Norman Rossington would be cycling to some nearby canal to fish. Indeed when Ben (my friend) and I left we went to our local for a quick pint and, I swear,we both had the uncanny feeling of being part of the film.
Time has passed and the working class East and West Midlands have change completely so it may not have such resonance for a new generation but if you want to know what a good slice of England looked and sounded like in the 1950s you should see it: it's better than any documentary. Indeed it is a great film.
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