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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
A classic - but cannot have the impact it once had
The movie that made Albert Finney a star cannot, now, be viewed as anything more than an a (UK) cinematic gem in it own glass case. At the time of release it hit the audience like a bomb-shell due to its frank portrayal of life, sex and double standards in the late 50's.
Today some will be puzzled by the dilemmas and themes to the point of "so what?"
Writer Alan Silitoe (from his own novel) quickly draws us in the to real world of a Nottingham factory worker. This is not the factory work of normal movies with the made-up hero having a blob of black stage paint across his forehead; more the dishevelled, sweaty, badly lit world that he knows from first hand experience.
In it we find Finney, smoking and gruff at his lathe. No actor, before him or after has ever made so much of an impression in a mundane situation as the ex-Shakespearen actor does here. Reality comes out of every pore. His matter-of-fact speaking voice, as a voice-over narrator, should not be underrated either - like someone giving testimony partly against their will.
His world of is one of petite rebellion and cheap thrills. The "fighting pit prop that wants a pint of beer." He is immoral and the wife of a friend is seen as fair game: Although the consequences are beyond his immature mind.
There is good supporting performances from British character actors such as Norman Rossington and Hylda Baker, but this movie belongs to one man and one man alone: Sir Albert Finney.
Twenty five years after he is dead the cinematic world is going to wake up and realize how brilliant an actor this man was: Like they did with Humphrey Bogart
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