63 user 30 critic

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 3 April 1961 (USA)
A rebellious, hard-living factory worker juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but pregnant with his child.


Karel Reisz


Alan Sillitoe (screenplay by), Alan Sillitoe (adapted from his novel by)
Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Finney ... Arthur Seaton
Shirley Anne Field ... Doreen
Rachel Roberts ... Brenda
Hylda Baker Hylda Baker ... Aunt Ada
Norman Rossington ... Bert
Bryan Pringle ... Jack
Robert Cawdron ... Robboe
Edna Morris Edna Morris ... Mrs. Bull
Elsie Wagstaff ... Mrs. Seaton (as Elsie Wagstaffe)
Frank Pettitt Frank Pettitt ... Mr. Seaton
Avis Bunnage Avis Bunnage ... Blousy Woman
Colin Blakely ... Loudmouth (as Colin Blakeley)
Irene Richmond Irene Richmond ... Doreen's Mother
Louise Dunn Louise Dunn ... Betty
Anne Blake ... Civil Defence Officer


Arthur, one of Britain's angry young men of the 1960s, is a hardworking factory worker who slaves all week at his mindless job for his modest wages. Come Saturday night, he's off to the pub for a loud and rowdy beer session. With him is Brenda, his girlfriend of the moment. Married to a fellow worker, she is nonetheless captivated by his rugged good looks and his devil-may-care attitude. Soon a new love interest Doreen enters and a week later, Brenda announces she's pregnant. She tells Arthur she needs money for an abortion, and Arthur promises to pay for it. By this time, his relationship with Doreen has ripened and Brenda, hearing of it, confronts him. He denies everything, but it's obvious that their affair is all but over. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Saturday night you have your fling at life...and Sunday morning you face up to it! See more »


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The censors were not too keen on the scene in which Arthur wakes up on Sunday morning in bed with his mistress. It directly implies extra-marital sex, a notable first for British cinema. See more »


When Arthur and Doreen meet for the first time, her packets of crisps on the counter disappear and reappear between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Arthur Seaton: Nine hundred and fifty four, nine hundred and fifty bloody five. Another few more and that's the lot for a Friday.
See more »


Referenced in High Hopes: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (2008) See more »


Lily of Laguna
Written by Leslie Stuart
Sung by the customers in the bar
See more »

User Reviews

A Good Character Study and Social Commentary
30 January 2016 | by robsta23See all my reviews

"Don't let the b******s grind you down!" The words which Arthur, the protagonist of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, lives by. It is a powerful voice-over narration by Albert Finney which begins the film and introduces who his character is. The only problem is, he does not explain that this life motto - at least for him - means constant lying and a lack of consideration for women.

We know from the get-go that Arthur is all about rebellion, specifically against his elders and their sense of tradition and manners; this is why he lacks any. He is also not the brightest star in the sky, letting his alcoholism (which he denies) get the best of him early on in the story.

Arthur dreams big though. There is a great scene when he is fishing with his cousin talking about a new girl in his life Doreen, when he states "never bite unless the bait's good." If this is another part of his philosophy on life, it is curious as to why he goes for the older, married woman Brenda early on in the film. Perhaps he is learning since his relationship with Brenda comes back to bite him later in the story.

With scenes of Arthur working at the factory, this becomes a commentary on the working class in England, but the commentary is slightly confusing. A young working man is susceptible to fall into a lifestyle including womanizing and living life to one's own terms, yet other characters who are nothing like him work with Arthur at the factory as well. In fact, Brenda's husband works at the same factory and from what we see of him he is a loving father and generally caring person. Perhaps, then, this film is a commentary on the young adult in England rather than the entire working class.

This is clearly a "rebellion" movie which gets its point across with some strong voice-over work by Albert Finney, and while the acting is great and Arthur is a well-developed, detestable person, at some points the audience can't help but ask "so what?"


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Release Date:

3 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning See more »


Box Office


GBP100,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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