27 user 16 critic

Poor Cow (1967)

Approved | | Drama | 31 January 1968 (USA)
A young woman lives a life filled with bad choices, she has a child with an abusive thief at a young age who quickly ends up in prison. One day, her son goes missing and she briefly comes to grips with what is most important to her.


Ken Loach (as Kenneth Loach)


Nell Dunn (screenplay), Ken Loach (screenplay) (as Kenneth Loach) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol White ... Joy
John Bindon ... Tom
Queenie Watts Queenie Watts ... Aunt Emm
Kate Williams Kate Williams ... Beryl
Laurie Asprey Laurie Asprey
James Beckett James Beckett ... Tom's mate
Ray Barron Ray Barron ... Customer in Pub
Hilda Barry Hilda Barry ... Customer in Pub
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Mr. Jacks (as Kenneth Campbell)
Ronald Clarke Ronald Clarke ... (as Ron Clarke)
Ellis Dale Ellis Dale ... Solicitor
Gladys Dawson Gladys Dawson ... Bet
Terry Duggan Terry Duggan ... 2nd Prisoner
Winnie Holman Winnie Holman ... Woman in Park
Rose Hiller Rose Hiller ... Customer in Hairdresser's


A young woman lives a life filled with bad choices. She marries and has a child with an abusive thief at a young age who quickly ends up in prison. Left alone she takes up with his mate (another thief) who seems to give her some happiness but who also ends up in the nick. She then takes up with a series of seedy types who offer nothing but momentary pleasure. Her son goes missing and she briefly comes to grips with what is most important to her. Written by Fred Cabral <ftcabral@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"Look at those creeps... bet they haven't even put films in the cameras. Still a girl's got to earn a living... and a loving." See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Because of The Limey, where this acts as a kind of prequel using clips of Terence Stamp's character, and the poster art showing Stamp in large form, this is often misled as a crime film about Stamp's character when it's really about Carol White, the single mother whom he dates for a short time in the beginning. See more »


Also in the beach caption, the word listening is spelt "liserning". See more »


Joy: When Tom was in the money, the world was our oyster. And we chose Ruislip.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The BBFC website states that the original version had some sex references that were cut before its release in the 1960s. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/education-resources/student-guide/bbfc-history/1960s See more »


Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Terence Stamp (2017) See more »


Written by John Sebastian
Performed by The Lovin' Spoonful
See more »

User Reviews

60's realism well worth a look at!
22 March 1999 | by ad59See all my reviews

Loach's film attempts to depict the sorry life of Joy, a young woman involved in the shady world of criminals and petty crime. How sorry one can feel for Joy is debatable as it is a life she has freely become associated with, first through her marriage to Tom and later, when Tom is imprisoned, through her relationship with his mate, Dave. What is so interesting about the film is the settings, Loach's realistic style and the naturalness of the key performances. Having an almost documentary feel about it - the (possibly unintentional) intrusion of the boom mike in one scene adds to this style. Also the street scenes of the kids playing in an alley comparable to a "20 yard toilet" could have been filmed in any run-down working class tenement block of the sixties. The film itself had a raw energy, especially when Joy is searching for her son amongst the demolished houses. Loach manages to present a realistic portrayal of working class urban life during 60's Britain which is well worth a look at.

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Release Date:

31 January 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Poor Cow See more »

Filming Locations:

Wales, UK See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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