The English factory town is dreary but Joe Lampton has landed a job with a future. To have something to do at night he joins a theatrical group. His boss's daughter Susan is playing ingenue roles on stage and in real life. She is attracted to Joe and Joe thinks about how much faster he will get ahead if he is the boss's son-in-law. This plan is complicated by his strong desire to be with an older woman who also belongs to the theatrical group. She is French and unhappily married. Joe believes he can get away with seeing both women.Written by
Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess,com>
This is a superb movie. The plot is reminiscent of "An American Tragedy." But it takes place in England, and the hero is very much an Angry Young Man. Nevertheless, it is so beautifully written and directed it feels as fresh and new as if the such issues had never before been touched in movies.
Laurence Harvey, whom I'm generally not crazy about, is superb as the lower-class guy determined to make it big. He sets his sights on the boss's daughter, appealingly played by Heather Sears. But something happens to sidetrack him. And that something -- Simone Signoret -- is the main reason to see and to cherish "Room At The Top." She is very believable as the slightly shady older woman with whom he has a romance. And her eyes! Her eyes, suggesting wisdom and great depths of sadness, will break you heart. It seems like a simple performance and it is uncluttered, stark. But it is flawless. I can think of almost no other performance by a woman in an English-language movie that compares to Signoret's.
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