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The Family Way (1966)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 6 January 1967 (UK)
Compassionate look at the troubles of two young newlyweds, whose marriage has yet to be consummated.


Bill Naughton (play), Bill Naughton (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hayley Mills ... Jenny Piper
Avril Angers Avril Angers ... Liz Piper
John Comer ... Leslie Piper
Wilfred Pickles ... Uncle Fred
John Mills ... Ezra Fitton
Marjorie Rhodes Marjorie Rhodes ... Lucy Fitton
Hywel Bennett ... Arthur Fitton
Murray Head ... Geoffrey Fitton
Barry Foster ... Joe Thompson
Liz Fraser ... Molly Thompson
Andy Bradford ... Eddie (as Andrew Bradford)
Thorley Walters ... The Vicar
Colin Gordon ... Mr. Hutton, the Travel Agent
Robin Parkinson Robin Parkinson ... Mr. Phillips, his assistant
Lesley Daine Lesley Daine ... Dora


Married life is proving to be difficult for newlyweds Jenny (Hayley Mills) and Arthur (Hywel Bennett). With well meaning, but interfering parents, nosey neighbors, and a town that thrives on gossip, can their marriage last? With all these pressures it's no wonder their personal life is suffering. Will there ever be any good news? Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A girl, a boy, a tender, funny, terrible wedding night. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

6 January 1967 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Todo a su tiempo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Boulting Brothers, Jambox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Colour by) (Eastman Colour)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sir Paul McCartney's movie scoring debut, which helped this movie very much financially. See more »


Ezra Fitton: He walked through 'ere like it were a public convenience.
Lucy Fitton: If you say that again, I won't be responsible.
Ezra Fitton: Well there's no other way of putting it. He looked neither left nor right.
Lucy Fitton: I've warned you.
Geoffrey Fitton: Why so touchy, Mum?
Lucy Fitton: Cos when I was a girl, I walked into a men's place by mistake. What a sight! Two lines of men, all wearing raincoats, with their stooped backs and their blooming heads sunk forward... as though they expected to be shot in the back at any moment.
See more »


Referenced in Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies (2001) See more »


Love In The Open Air
(main theme) (uncredited)
Written by Paul McCartney
Played by George Martin and his Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Doing The Deed
26 March 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I remember back in the day the big buzz about The Family Way was it marked the adult film debut of Hayley Mills. After years of doing fresh scrubbed Disney productions, Hayley was going to do an adult role. And the big news was, it was about SEX.

But when they went to see The Family Way, what Hayley's fans got was a touching life drama about a pair of newlyweds who can't seem to get the deed done. Hywel Bennett and Mills play the young couple and they are an appealing pair.

Bennett and Mills like any other newlyweds would probably just like some privacy, but they can't get any due to family friends, especially Bennett's father who is played by John Mills. This is a most different Mills than what we saw in such films like Great Expectations, Tunes of Glory or Scott of the Antarctic. He's a working class guy from Lancashire, very coarse and rough in his ways, but in the end does show a kind heart.

The game plan is for Hayley and Hywel to get married, spend the wedding night at Hywel's place and then take off for a honeymoon trip. What John Mills decides in a really brilliant move is to keep the party from the wedding reception going over at his place. And then Hywel's clod of a boss, Barry Foster, sneaks into the newlyweds room and loosens the screws of the bridal bed. All in the spirit of good clean fun, but it does spoil the moment and Hywel has a performance problem.

Hayley's character is not all that different from those she played at Disney. She's a sweet young thing who's showing a bit of understandable sexual frustration. Especially after the newlyweds discover the travel agent absconded with their money along with many others. They're now forced to spend two weeks in the house with Bennett's parents. Doubly frustrating because Bennett's younger brother Murray Head is also around. If you'll remember five years later Murray Head was the lust object of Peter Finch and Glenda Jackson in Sunday Bloody Sunday. He's looking just as yummy in The Family Way.

Apart from some brief shots of Hayley Mills's derrière which would not raise a ripple today, there's no nudity, no filming of the deed. In fact if it wasn't that it was Hayley Mills I doubt it would have made any noise even back then.

Best performance in the film though is that of Marjorie Rhodes as Bennett's very wise mother. She suspects a problem, but has a great deal of difficulty just persuading her husband to just let things work themselves out. In fact during the course of the film she confesses an ancient indiscretion herself, showing she does understand far more than anyone realizes.

Best moment in the film is Liz Fraser delivering a truly terrific put-down to Barry Foster who is her husband after he and Bennett duke it out and Bennett is fired. Has to be seen to be appreciated.

The Family Way is one of the best British productions of the Sixties. Paul McCartney wrote the original musical score for the production and the film is shot on location in Lancashire giving it a real feel for the British working class. And it was interesting seeing those Beatle inspired fashions from back in the day.

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