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A young woman lives a life filled with bad choices. She marries and has a child with an abusive thief at a young age who quickly ends up in prison. Left alone she takes up with his mate (another thief) who seems to give her some happiness but who also ends up in the nick. She then takes up with a series of seedy types who offer nothing but momentary pleasure. Her son goes missing and she briefly comes to grips with what is most important to her. Written by
Fred Cabral <email@example.com>
Swinging London of myth, was for most at the time, a fantasy. It involved a small number of people, in a small area of the city, for a short time. But as many of those who were of this group, went on and maintained long careers in film, TV, Arts and literature/journalism, it's effect and scope was and has been much magnified.
Trust Ken Loach (who else?) to shine a light in the London of the mid/late 60's' for many people, was the reality. Not just the criminal element either.
Loach after all had form here, with his groundbreaking TV plays such a 'Up The Junction' and 'Cathy Come Home'. Showing the darker side of London that was then, still, an industrial city in parts.
Carol White, as lead Joy, had also been in those Loach films, she was a working class Julie Christie and carried off the role of this troubled young woman with aplomb.
White really was a fine actress, sadly like the roles which made her famous with Loach, the real woman was as troubled. Not due to poverty, a different kind of trouble, the numerous affairs, the decline in her career, to die from alcohol abuse at just 48 far from her London roots. It does change you way you view Poor Cow with this knowledge.
Terence Stamp as Dave is excellent - though such was his stardom by then he would turn up for filming in a Rolls Royce! The notorious John Blindon (surely the most stark example of Loach's use of 'real' people who often had the same lives as they acted on screen), struggles as an actor in his first role, though again, with the knowledge of the real Blindon this is less noticeable.
The Loach 60's standards of lots of sequences of real life, lots of cameo characters, loose plotting, are much in evidence.
This is not a film for everyone, if you think you'll see another classic British gangster film, you'll be disappointed. But this was a radical, daring, atmospheric film, more of historic interest than greatly entertaining, worth a look.
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