7.7/10
1,130
15 user 9 critic

Bleak Moments (1971)

Moments from the uncompromisingly bleak existence of a secretary, her intellectually disabled sister, aloof and uneasy teacher boyfriend, bizarre neighbor and irritating workmate.

Director:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh (scenario)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Raitt Anne Raitt ... Sylvia
Sarah Stephenson Sarah Stephenson ... Hilda
Eric Allan Eric Allan ... Peter
Joolia Cappleman Joolia Cappleman ... Pat
Mike Bradwell Mike Bradwell ... Norman
Liz Smith ... Pat's mother
Malcolm Smith Malcolm Smith ... Norman's friends
Donald Sumpter ... Norman's friends
Christopher Martin Christopher Martin ... Sylvia's boss
Linda Beckett Linda Beckett ... Remedial trainees
Sandra Bolton Sandra Bolton ... Remedial trainees
Stephen Churchett ... Remedial trainees
Una Brandon-Jones Una Brandon-Jones ... Supervisor
Ronald Eng Ronald Eng ... Waiter
Reginald Stewart Reginald Stewart ... Man in restaurant
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Storyline

Moments from the uncompromisingly bleak existence of a secretary, her intellectually disabled sister, aloof and uneasy teacher boyfriend, bizarre neighbor and irritating workmate. Written by JCB

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 May 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Loving Moments See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Leigh wasn't terribly enamored with the rigors of feature film making and would concentrate his efforts on stage and TV for some years to follow. His next feature film would be _High Hopes_ some 17 years later. See more »

Crazy Credits

"Any similarity between characters in this film and persons living or dead is entirely intentional." See more »

Connections

Featured in The South Bank Show: Mike Leigh (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Fantasy
(uncredited)
Music by Syd Dale
KPM Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

Soft, nervous and quietly powerful drama.
12 March 2013 | by bobsgrockSee all my reviews

Mike Leigh's directorial debut remains some forty years later a powerful story which focuses on the ordinary living of a group of Londoners trying to carve out some meager semblance of existence. The true conflict resides within: nearly all of the characters Leigh centralizes on have some form of deep-set emotional turmoil raging inside of them. Sylvia, the main character who lives alone while caring for her mentally handicapped sister and working at a secretarial job she doesn't care for, seems not only disappointed in her life but also helpless in any way to improve upon her current situation.

She attempts to start up some kind of relationship with Peter, a shy and introspective schoolteacher but he seems even more apprehensive and cautious than she. Added to this mix are Pat, a rather talkative friend from work with her own set of issues, and Norm, a really odd but likable hippie-type living next door to Sylvia who attracts her through his gentility and musical ability.

Leigh's ability to probe deep within these characters and expose their innermost pain and turmoil is truly astonishing to see. So much is said with a facial gesture or expression of the eyes. Silence dominates the conversations of these people, leaving the audience ample time to study the atmosphere of the situation and the long-term results of such behavior. Certainly this is a stunning debut and lays the groundwork for future works exploring even further the inner workings of human relations.


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