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A Touch of Love (1969)

M | | Drama | September 1969 (UK)
A young London woman, studying for her doctorate in the British Museum, spends her nights trying to avoid the sexual admiration of men in her life.


Waris Hussein


Margaret Drabble (screenplay), Margaret Drabble (from her novel "The Millstone")
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Sandy Dennis ... Rosamund
Ian McKellen ... George
Michael Coles ... Joe
John Standing ... Roger
Peggy Thorpe-Bates Peggy Thorpe-Bates ... Mrs. Stacey
Kenneth Benda ... Mr. Stacey
Deborah Stanford Deborah Stanford ... Beatrice
Roger Hammond ... Mike
Eleanor Bron ... Lydia
Margaret Tyzack ... Sister Bennett
Maurice Denham ... Dr. Prothero
Rachel Kempson ... Sister Harvey


Rosamund (Sandy Dennis), a young 'bookish' girl in London society, spends her days studying for a doctorate in the British Museum and her nights avoiding the sexual attention of the men in her life. But one day, all that changes. Through a friend, she is introduced to rising TV newsreader/announcer George (Ian McKellen) and after a further chance meeting and a tumble on the sofa, she finds herself pregnant from her first sexual encounter. After a failed attempt at self-induced abortion, she resolves to have the child, leaving her on a solitary and at times discouraging path through pregnancy and into single motherhood, aided only by her close friend Lydia (Eleanor Bron). Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The community is uptight about single girls like Rosamund Stacey. That's THEIR hang up. See more »




M | See all certifications »






Release Date:

September 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Thank You All Very Much See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor) (photographed in)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


An iconic London landmark, the Post Office Tower (now known as the BT Tower) is regularly seen as a backdrop during the external scenes. Its in-vision usage was somewhat contrary to the then-wishes of the prevailing U.K. legislature. This was due to the Post Office Tower being classified as a building or structure significantly crucial to the reliable and fundamental operation of the telecommunications systems of the United Kingdom. Indeed, it was deemed so critical, its inclusion was banned on all maps, atlases, and similar of its day, as seen in this movie. See more »


Sister Henry: You're quite sure, Miss Stacey, you've thought this out properly? You ought to think about the child, you know. I'm quite sure your feelings will change considerably over the next few months. There are a great many happy, married couples who would be able to offer your baby a home and give her a much better life than you would ever be able to provide for her.
Rosamund Stacey: Yes, well I expect it is arrogant of me to suppose that I too may have things to provide. I mean, I'm not a happy, married couple I know....
See more »


Referenced in Monty Python's Flying Circus: Full Frontal Nudity (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Worth your attention.
28 March 2011 | by Shilpot7See all my reviews

Gentle film based on the Margaret Drabble novel of several years earlier, entitled, The Millstone.

Ros is an academic virgin doing her thesis at some unnamed university. One night she makes love to a campy television presenter played by Ian McKellen and falls pregnant. After much thought, she decides to keep the baby.

Luckily her rather cold parents have left London for Africa, so she has the run of their large mansion flat off Baker Street and she invites her friend, played by Eleanor Bron, to move in. This adds some life to the proceedings. Bron even rents a TV to bring some light to their gloomy flat, it also gives Ros a chance to catch brief glimpses of the father of her child, who she temporarily becomes mildly obsessed with.

The film is really about a young woman who grapples with the problems of having a child out of wedlock at a time when this was socially difficult.

It's sensitively made. Sometimes quite lifeless. There are some very nice shots of London, mostly around Marylebone. It's quite atmospheric and is the sort of gentle film that in the 70s would have been a rather good one-off TV play. The sort that are sadly no longer made. Middle Class, well spoken, Londoners are now forbidden territory for TV or cinematic dramas in 'Classless Britain'.

Made in 1969, but don't expect 'Swinging London'. Ros, played, rather well by Sandy Dennis, who affects a very good English accent, is what back then would have been considered a 'square'. No Donovan singles in Ros's record collection or Saturday afternoons along the King's Road. More a case of violin recitals at The Wigmore Hall and matronly outfits from Fenwick's.

The film is now available on an excellent quality DVD.

It's well made, well shot, well acted, somewhat lifeless at times, but what's good about it adds up to make this into a film well worth watching.

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