A juvenile offender (Sir Tom Courtenay) at a tough reform school impresses its Governor (Sir Michael Redgrave) with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.
Despite success on the field, a rising rugby star senses the emerging emptiness of his life as his inner angst begins to materialize through aggression and brutality, so he attempts to woo his landlady in hopes of finding reason to live.
Cool, sophisticated Tolen (Ray Brooks) has a monopoly on womanizing - with a long like of conquests to prove it - while the naïve, awkward Colin (Michael Crawford) desperately wants a piece... See full summary »
Black and white, gay and straight, mothers and daughters, class, and coming of age. Jo is working class, in her teens, living with her drunk and libidinous mother in northern England. When mom marries impulsively, Jo is out on the streets; she and Geoffrey, a gay co worker who's adrift himself, find a room together. Then Jo finds herself pregnant after a one night stand with Jimmy, a Black sailor. Geoffrey takes over the preparations for the baby's birth, and becomes, in effect, the child's father. The three of them seem to have things sorted out when Jo's mother reappears on the scene, assertive and domineering. Which "family" will emerge?Written by
Hazel Blears, who later became a member of the UK parliament and a minister in Tony Blair's government, appears in the film as a 5-year-old urchin along with her brother. She can be seen wearing a tartan skirt and playing with a ball during the films opening credits. See more »
During the opening credits bus ride through Manchester the very large building on Portland street overlooking Piccadilly Gardens (now a Thistle hotel) has large letters across the top on each wing identifying it as "Hickson, Lloyd & King Ltd.", but in the shot, the letters are all backwards in a mirror image. See more »
This offbeat film is funny, tragic, and all the stops in between...and if Rita Tushingham, as the teenaged heroine "Jo", is the movie's heart, its soul is Murray Melvin, whose subtle but searing performance as her friend "Geoff" is one of the greatest on film (it deservedly won him the Cannes Film Festival's "Palme d'Or").
Most of the musical score may sound odd to American ears (I believe it reflects the instrumental music that actually accompanied the stage play from which this film is adapted), but the chorus of lilting children's voices, singing a traditional song, that is heard over the movie's opening and closing sequences, is extremely effective.
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