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In 1964, to explore the adage "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man," World in Action filmed seven-year-olds. Every seven years, Michael Apted visits them. At 49, ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself (as Bruce)
Jacqueline Bassett ...
Herself (as Jackie)
Symon Basterfield ...
Himself (as Simon)
...
Himself (as Andrew)
John Brisby ...
Himself (as John)
Suzanne Dewey ...
Herself (as Suzy)
Charles Furneaux ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Charles)
...
Himself (as Nick)
Neil Hughes ...
Himself (as Neil)
Lynn Johnson ...
Herself (as Lynn)
Paul Kligerman ...
Himself (as Paul)
Susan Sullivan ...
Herself (as Sue)
...
Himself (as Tony)
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Storyline

In 1964, to explore the adage "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man," World in Action filmed seven-year-olds. Every seven years, Michael Apted visits them. At 49, 12 agree to talk about family, work, their hopes, and the series. We also see footage from previous interviews. Some marriages seem stronger; some have ended. Being a parent or a grandparent dominates life's pleasures. Simon has found responsibility; John's charity work flourishes. Neil remains in politics, against all odds. Jackie leads the critique of a more deliberately-present Apted and the series' intrusiveness. None enjoy participating; all are reflective; several surpass expectations. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The latest installment in the groundbreaking 7 Up series


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

15 September 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

49 лет  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,364, 13 October 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$238,073, 24 November 2006
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts) | (DVD)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

By the time this update was made, 12 of the original 14 children were still taking part, with Charles having dropped out at 21, and Peter at 28. Although John had dropped out at 42 he returned for this installment. See more »

Quotes

John Brisby: Who wants to be the richest corpse in the graveyard?
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Connections

Follows 28 Up (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Shout to the Lord
by Darlene Zschech
Sung by Neil's church group
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User Reviews

 
A long look at growing up
15 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

Michael Apted's unique longitudinal TV study of the lives of twelve (originally fourteen) London schoolchildren from a variety of backgrounds all born in 1956 is here updated to 2005. Reality TV is intrusive TV and Apted's subjects do not relish his probing into their lives every seven years. The original "lefty" Granada producers (Apted was a junior researcher on the original show) saw this "World in Action" program as a way of demonstrating how class in Britain determines outcomes, but with each iteration class becomes less important and personality and character more important. Each kid still has the capacity to surprise, just as life has the capacity to surprise them.

At 49, most of them are leading fairly settled lives with long-term partners and an increasing number of grandchildren. One striking feature, though it is typical of their generation, is the number that are on to their second and even third marriages. In some cases their careers have been more stable than their relationships. Another feature is that the disadvantaged kids of 1963 have by and large done better than expected. No-one has gone to jail or been murdered and many of their children have done better educationally and career-wise than they have. The girls have had a rougher time than the boys, being pushed out into the labour force yet still having to do the lion's share of family maintenance.

John, Andrew and Charles, the three upper class boys, have had a relatively easy time. John, now a Chancery Silk (was it he who read the "Financial Times" at seven?) allowed Apted into his life again only to give his Bulgarian charity some publicity, but he clearly has a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle. Andrew, a solicitor, is "guarded about being guarded" and gives very little away (he did not appear in "42") but he seems comfortable enough also. Charles, the BBC producer, left the series after "21". Suzie the upper class girl who went through a bad time as a young adult is now mature, poised and affable. She says however this "Up" will be her last.

By contrast the three working class girls, Jackie, Sue and Lynn, have done it tougher, especially where men are concerned. But they have held down jobs, brought up children and generally have become solid citizens. Tony the jockey turned cabbie, despite his infidelities, is still married to the same woman and they have grandchildren, and (something unimaginable for them in 1963) a holiday villa in Spain. The two "orphans" Paul and Simon, one from a broken home and the other the son of a white mother who had a fleeting affair with a black man, are still working class, but again solid citizens with jobs, children and grandchildren.

The middle class boys, Bruce and Nick (son of a Yorkshire farmer), have succeeded in academia, Bruce as a maths teacher in a colorful array of schools and Nick as a Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin. Bruce surprised everybody (and probably himself) by getting married for the first time at 42 and producing two children. Nick's first marriage folded and he is now married (at long distance) to another academic. His career faltered when his longstanding research into nuclear fusion hit insuperable obstacles, but he continues to be a gifted teacher.

And of course there is Neil. A delightful, imaginative seven year old, he was a troubled adolescent,dropped out of university, and slid in his 20s into depression. His thirties, spend in some of the colder parts of the UK such as Scotland and the Shetlands, were not much better and he became the most likely candidate for the first permanent disappearance from the program. But something happened to Neil in his 40s, and at 41 he had moved back to London and become a local councilor in Hackney. Now at 49 he has moved to Cumbria, got on the local council there and become a lay preacher. Somehow, you think this man has found God, if not himself, though it has been a long and lonely journey. This is the kid who at seven said he didn't want children, and the man has the same view, but he has found a niche in society for himself.

I've no doubt Apted will go on with this until he drops – to get this far indicates a fair degree of obsession (it is not that the busy director has nothing else to do). I can't help feeling things are going to flatten out a bit – 49 to 56 are usually fairly stable years and this group (even Neil) are a fairly stable group. But, to repeat, it's a unique program, and maybe there are some more surprises in store.


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