Married life is proving difficult for newlyweds Jenny and Arthur. With well meaning but interfering parents, nosey neighbors, and a town that thrives on gossip, can their marriage last? With all these pressures it's no wonder their personal life is suffering. Will there ever be any good news? Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
It says here if the Chinese go on increasing, there'll not be enough food left to go around. Someone ought to tell them Chinese to stop it.
Why don't you? They might take notice.
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A wonderful story of the human condition in working class 1960's England. The screenwriter has an almost Shakespearean feel for his characters - an understanding of these people, their way of living, and what matters to them. We can see ourselves in these people, hence we care about them deeply.
The quality of the acting is superb. John Mills, one of the best English screen actors ever, is incredible as the father of the Groom. His character is rough and boorish and totally thoughtless when his newly-wed son and bride are forced to share his family's poor flat. Dad is more concerned with memories of his long lost buddy "Billy" than he is with the lives of his own wife and family. Yet somehow Mills lets us feel a sensitivity behind this character that wrenches the viewers heart at the end of the movie.
The plot here is straight forward and simple, a vehicle for us to get to know these characters. Mills' son and the son's bride are forced to live with Mom, Dad, and family in a thin walled flat. Among other problems, the proximity of family leads the groom to a bout of impotence. The thin walls soon have the whole family, and soon the entire neighborhood aware of our hero's problem. Females tend to be sympathetic to our guy, guys tend to tease him or offer advice (pre-viagra days). One particularly sleazy character promises to get the job done for him. And the bride seems somewhat taken by this creep. Problems naturally ensue.
Mills' daughter Haley is cast in her first roll as an adult, playing her real-life father's daughter-in-law. She pulls off the change from child to adult actor flawlessly, she's a delight. The rest of the cast is strong and oh so believable. The Mom in this story has the heart and courage of an Edith Bunker with none of the ditziness.
This film probably made no top 100 lists because it is so topical and set so much in its own time and place. Try watching it as you would a Shakespeare play, put the surroundings away and enjoy the study of the human condition.
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