8 user 3 critic

Family Life (1971)

A teenage girl suffers a nervous breakdown.


(as Kenneth Loach)


(play), (screenplay)
6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Poor Cow (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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 (... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Terence Stamp, Carol White, John Bindon
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This Ken Loach film tells the story of a man devoted to his family and his religion. Proud, though poor, Bob wants his little girl to have a beautiful (and costly) brand-new dress for her ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Bruce Jones, Julie Brown, Gemma Phoenix
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This Ken Loach docu-drama relates the story of a British woman's fight with Social Services over the care of her children. Maggie has a history of bouncing from one abusive relationship to ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Crissy Rock, Vladimir Vega, Sandie Lavelle
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Thatcherism and the Irish troubles provide the backdrop for this study of Mick, a well-meaning youth in Sheffield, who has, unlike Dickens' Pip, no expectations. Mick lives with his parents... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Graham Green, Carolyn Nicholson, Tony Pitts
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A simple tale of a year in the life of a Gamekeeper. From the troubles involved in rearing the pheasants and dealing with predators (poachers and foxes). The gamekeeper shows us all the ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Phil Askham, Rita May, Andrew Grubb
Black Jack (1979)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A rediscovered classic from director Ken Loach (THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY, KES) and one of the inspirations for Wes Anderson's MOONRISE KINGDOM, BLACK JACK is a dark and complex ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Stephen Hirst, Louise Cooper, Jean Franval
Riff-Raff (1991)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of Stevie, a construction worker, and his girlfriend, an unemployed pop singer, serves to show the living conditions of the British poor class

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Robert Carlyle, Emer McCourt, Jim R. Coleman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A singer swaps the political intimidation of working in East Germany for the equally controlling capitalist music industry in the West.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Gerulf Pannach, Fabienne Babe, Sigfrit Steiner
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Five Yorkshiremen try to survive after the British Rail is bought out by a private company.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Dean Andrews, Thomas Craig, Joe Duttine
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two thirtysomethings, unemployed former alcoholic Joe and community health worker Sarah, start a romantic relationship in the one of the toughest Glasgow neighbourhoods.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Peter Mullan, Louise Goodall, Gary Lewis
Carla's Song (1996)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

1987, love in time of war. A bus driver George Lennox meets Carla, a Nicaraguan exile living a precarious, profoundly sad life in Glasgow. Her back is scarred, her boyfriend missing, her ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Robert Carlyle, Oyanka Cabezas, Scott Glenn
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Songs, poems and experiences of the Miners' Strike, 1984.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Charles Boal, Eric Booth, Keith Brookes


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandy Ratcliff ...
Janice Baildon
Bill Dean ...
Mr. Baildon
Grace Cave ...
Mrs. Baildon
Hilary Martin ...
Barbara Baildon
Michael Riddall ...
Dr. Donaldson
Alan MacNaughtan ...
Mr. Caswell
Johnny Gee ...
Man in Garden
Bernard Atha
Edwin Brown
Freddie Clemson
Alec Coleman
Jack Connell
Ellis Dale
Terry Duggan


A 19 years old London girl received agressive psychiatric treatments for her schizophrenic behaviour by a doctor who still wants her family to insure the guard of the child without any regards to the facts that it is this family who's agravating her situation. Written by Jean-Marie Berthiaume <jiembe@videotron.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A story of real people and feelings. Without make-up. See more »




See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 December 1971 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Wednesday's Child  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Bille August cites "Family Life" as one of his greatest influences. See more »


Remake of The Wednesday Play: In Two Minds (1967) See more »


Down by the River
Written by Neil Young
Sung in the therapy group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

We struggled hard all our life to get by..
5 December 2001 | by See all my reviews

..and however,she's leaving home,at least mentally.

"Family life" is the most difficult,the most austere of all Kenneth Loach's efforts.One should add it's also his most dated.The generation gap,with these "boys and daughters who are beyond your command",all this looks like hippie relics.As do the mother's wailings:the youth is not what it used to be,they don't show respect anymore,they make love all day when they're not taking drugs etc.The generation gap is not typically sixties or early seventies.It's an all-time problem:For instance,Elia Kazan's "East of Eden" was made in 1954,and the action takes place circa 1914.So a lot of stuff at the beginning of "Family life" deals with clichés.

Nevertheless,this movie is a must if you like the "European " style.Its form is absolutely unique,looking like a special report,a survey,with question/answer dialogues galore.At times,we wonder whether the actors are actually playing.We're close to "cinema verite" (see JL Godard's "masculin feminin" (1966))A viewer who would turn the TV on halfway through the movie,might think he's watching a documentary film.

Janice is a rather normal young woman,with normal problems.she had a hard time of it when she had an abortion .Her mother is a puritan,rigid,and probably frigid woman,her father is a "honor and duty" man.Both content themselves with a routine nine-to-five life,and they are convinced that they are good parents.The father is proud of the clock his bosses have given to him,after 25 years of hard work,the mother of her jelly.

Janice is some kind of misfit,and she's not unlike the main character from "la tête contre les murs"(George Franju,1958).But there's a huge difference:Franju tells a story,Loach does not.No dramatization at all in the English director's film.There is a similar scene in the two movies:both inmates escape ,take refuge in their girl/boyfriend's flat,then the police come:Franju's character is desperate,revolted,Janice is already a zombie,she cannot react anymore.

A lot of people said the shrinks were caricatures in "family life":completely true as far the last one is concerned.But the first one ,on the other hand ,sees well:three times,he asks the father if his sexual relations are satisfying ,and every time he tries to change the subject.

Kenneth Loach has come a long way from the documentary style of "poor cow"(1967) and "family life".It's interesting to note that the movie midway between ,"Kes" (1969),is more accessible,being more storybook.During the eighties and nineties,with such works as "hidden agenda" and the wonderful "carla's song",Kenneth Loach will prove he can be a story teller too.

16 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: