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A Taste of Honey (1961)

 -  Drama  -  30 April 1962 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,168 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 22 critic

The moving story of a plain young girl who becomes pregnant by a black sailor, befriends a homosexual, and gradually becomes a woman.

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Title: A Taste of Honey (1961)

A Taste of Honey (1961) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Won 4 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dora Bryan ...
Helen
...
Peter Smith
Rita Tushingham ...
Jo [Josephine]
...
Geoffrey Ingham
Paul Danquah ...
Jimmy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Bilton ...
Landlord
Eunice Black ...
Schoolteacher
David Boliver ...
Bert
Margo Cunningham ...
Landlady
A. Goodman ...
Rag and Bone Man
John Harrison ...
Cave Attendant
Veronica Howard ...
Gladys
Moira Kaye ...
Doris
Graham Roberts
Valerie Scarden ...
Woman in Shoe Shop
Edit

Storyline

Black and white, gay and straight, mothers and daughters, class, and coming of age. Jo is working class, in her teens, living with her drunk and libidinous mother in northern England. When mom marries impulsively, Jo is out on the streets; she and Geoffrey, a gay co worker who's adrift himself, find a room together. Then Jo finds herself pregnant after a one night stand with Jimmy, a Black sailor. Geoffrey takes over the preparations for the baby's birth, and becomes, in effect, the child's father. The three of them seem to have things sorted out when Jo's mother reappears on the scene, assertive and domineering. Which "family" will emerge? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The prize winning comedy-drama of a young girl's passionate love for life!...

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Taste of Honey  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite winning Best Actor (Murray Melvin) and Best Actress (Rita Tushingham) prizes at Cannes, Dora Bryan and Tushingham went unrecognized and were barred from the film's celebration party until film critic Alexander Walker spotted them outside and was able to get them in. See more »

Goofs

The scene where Jo says goodbye to Jimmy for the last time is shot at Barton Swing Bridge, on the Manchester Ship Canal. Jimmy walks through the closing barriers to the end of the bridge and is next seen on the ship. But there isn't a way for Jimmy to get off the bridge and onto the ship as the far end of the bridge hangs over the canal. Jimmy would have had to fall 15 feet while leaping around 20-30 feet to make it to the deck of the ship. Quite an achievement in those boots. See more »

Quotes

Jo: I'm not sorry and I'm not glad.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in A Taste of Catnip (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Slip Away
(uncredited)
from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)
Music by John Dankworth
Lyrics by David Dearlove
Performed by Cleo Laine
Played during the Blackpool sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A haunting masterpiece with sharp and true dialogue.
11 September 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The 1960's brought about many of my favourite films about the English working class experience: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner; Saturday Night, Sunday Morning; This Sporting Life and - naturally - Kes. Coming from the North and being around - just - during the sixties helps naturally.

I dislike the term "kitchen sink" because it puts too many people off a film that while bleak remains so true it almost hurts. There isn't a word, phrase or scene in this movie that I don't believe and remember: I was there, although not in Salford!

A dimly lit world of booze, cups of tea, canals, seaside trips, bonfires, repressed emotions, unprotected sex (and what follows) and the limits and cheap thrills of the Northern English working class.

In 1961 this must have looked like the start of a new age of film. Real stories about real life. Almost a docu-drama in the modern parlance. However it never really happened. Why? Because there is more skill required than you might imagine and even this verges on going over the top. You could say it is tries to tick too many boxes. And isn't really true drama because it stops at a point in which so many threads remain loose.

(I suppose you could say it ends with the characters facing up to the realities that they have been so long running away from - but will they actually achieve it?)

Star of the show is Rita Tushington who never went on to do much with her career after being given the part of a lifetime to start it all off. Murray Melvin is also good as the homosexual boyfriend who wants to help out - although maybe in a misguided way.

A Taste of Honey has its limits and you could attack it for being snobbish. It is an artistic product born of the middle class - but it remains utterly true in a way that is mostly absent in cinema today.


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