IMDb > Bleak Moments (1971)
Bleak Moments
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Bleak Moments (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Mike Leigh (scenario)
View company contact information for Bleak Moments on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1971 (UK) See more »
Moments from the uncompromisingly bleak existence of a secretary, her intellectually disabled sister... See more » | Full synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
(17 articles)
Wild at Heart: A Week of Debut Films
 (From MUBI. 7 January 2016, 9:02 AM, PST)

Mike Leigh to receive Zurich honour
 (From ScreenDaily. 18 August 2015, 12:29 AM, PDT)

Mike Leigh to receive BAFTA Fellowship
 (From ScreenDaily. 3 February 2015, 9:00 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Awkward Moments See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Anne Raitt ... Sylvia
Sarah Stephenson ... Hilda
Eric Allan ... Peter
Joolia Cappleman ... Pat
Mike Bradwell ... Norman
Liz Smith ... Pat's mother
Malcolm Smith ... Norman's friends

Donald Sumpter ... Norman's friends
Christopher Martin ... Sylvia's boss
Linda Beckett ... Remedial trainees
Sandra Bolton ... Remedial trainees
Stephen Churchett ... Remedial trainees
Una Brandon-Jones ... Supervisor
Ronald Eng ... Waiter
Reginald Stewart ... Man in restaurant
Susan Glanville ... Enthusiastic teacher
Joanna Dickens ... Stout teacher
Christopher Leaver ... Wine merchant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Chandler ... (uncredited)
Brian Chenley ... (uncredited)
Ina Clough ... (uncredited)
Pat Farrand ... (uncredited)
Sandra Jewell ... (uncredited)
Lin Layram ... (uncredited)
Ruth Lesirge ... (uncredited)
David Marigold ... (uncredited)
Neil May ... (uncredited)
P.A. Rowley ... (uncredited)
Marion Turner ... (uncredited)
Ken Wheatcroft ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Mike Leigh 
Writing credits
Mike Leigh (scenario)

Produced by
Les Blair .... producer (as Leslie Blair)
Albert Finney .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Bahram Manocheri  (as Bahram Manoochehri)
Film Editing by
Les Blair  (as Leslie Blair)
Art Direction by
Richard Rambaut 
Production Management
Pat O'Donnell .... production manager
Art Department
Liz Dallas-Ross .... assistant art director
Esther Rowley .... graphics
Sound Department
Bob Bentley .... sound assistant
Charles Frater .... post-production recording (as Charles B. Frater)
Bob Withey .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Bahram Manocheri .... camera operator (as Bahram Manoochehri)
Roger Pratt .... assistant camera
Michel Préfontaine .... grip
Editorial Department
Sidney Holden .... assistant editor
Other crew
Giles Camplin .... production assistant
Alison Read .... production assistant
Sue Vester .... continuity
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
106 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Sound Mix:
Hong Kong:I | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1990)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The film was bankrolled by Memorial Films, co-owned by Albert Finney and Michael Medwin, who had recently enjoyed great success with Lindsay Anderson's If.... (1968) and were about to commence production on Gumshoe (1971).See more »
Movie Connections:
Goose PimplesSee more »


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Awkward Moments, 13 April 2009
Author: Ted R from United States

Mike Leigh is the undisputed king of the awkward moment. He takes a this cinematic staple and extrapolates it into clenching agonies of time. In some of his films, Leigh allows the unease to build up to a crescendo, and in other films he simply lets it simmer. It's safe to say the awkward silence is something of a Leigh trademark, and in this film we are given a searing, painful stretch involving five pathologically shy people.

Sylvia is an attractive yet shy working-class woman caring for her mentally disabled sister, Hilda. Her well-meaning harridan of a workmate pitches in to help from time to time, but Sylvia knows this woman is a credulous boob. There's a teacher down the street, also shy to the point of being socially inept. He likes Hilda, but that dog won't hunt, so he takes a shine to Sylvia.

Will either of these two break through their timidity? Will anyone get face to face and come down to brass tacks? If Leigh's vision of stodgy English reserve and working class ennui has anything to say about it, we can assume it's not likely...

This slow and bleak film isn't for everyone, but it helps one understand the foundations that Leigh created early in his career.

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