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Lunch Hour (1961)

 -  Comedy
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 34 users  
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Title: Lunch Hour (1961)

Lunch Hour (1961) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Shirley Anne Field ...
Girl
...
Man
Kay Walsh ...
Manageress
Hazel Hughes ...
Auntie
Michael Robbins ...
Harris
...
Personnel manager
Neil Culleton ...
Little boy
Sandra Lea ...
Little girl
Peter Ashmore ...
Lecturer
Vi Stevens ...
Waitress
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Shirley Anne Field plays a schizophrenic
5 April 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is the sort of charming little film about the innocence of young love that couldn't be made today without copious love scenes to lure the 'punters' in.

It's also the type of film that nobody ever sees unless, like me, you scour the TV listings for obscure items and curios that are normally shown in the early hours of the morning, as this was, when the sort of innocent people that are portrayed in this film (if they still exist) are tucked up in bed and have been asleep for a good few hours.

This is the story of a young man and woman (Robert Stephens and Shirley Anne Field) who meet at the factory where they work and fall in love. Stephens plays an executive which is a job title that clearly flatters his position and Field plays an artist who having recently left art school paints flowers seemingly all day.

The short time they spend alone together is during lunch hours where they are constantly frustrated in their attempts to have a kiss and a cuddle. Stephens' character attempts to solve this problem by booking a hotel room and attempting to avoid suspicion by telling the landlady an assortment of lies. These include Field being his wife who has come down from the North with the kids (who will be looked after by an imaginary aunt) to discuss something very important.

Why he didn't book the same hotel room and use it overnight so they can really get down to the business at hand is never explained.

This is where the film goes really weird and Field's character starts to imagine the whole lie is actually true and visualises having to dealing with noisy crying kids and all the hassle that goes with it. Maybe this is her scary vision of the pressures of marriage and motherhood that will arise if she hangs around this executive chap much longer. Whatever the reason she comes across as an unhinged psycho who Stephens would do well to steer clear of.

It seems such a shame that Field's character goes from a lovely girl with whom any young man would want to spend their lunch hour to a hallucinating crackpot who probably belongs in a straitjacket. Then again you never truly know your beloved until you have spent an hour together in a grubby little hotel room.


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