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A Kind Of Loving
cast: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird, Ingrid Rothwell, and Leonard Rossiter

director: John Schlesinger

112 minutes (15) 1962 widescreen 1.66:1
Momentum Vintage DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Denise Wayne

Vic, a draughtsman in a northern factory town, has to marry girlfriend June (Ingrid Rothwell) when she becomes pregnant, despite the condescension and highhandedness of his dreaded mother-in-law.
   Co-scripted by playwright Keith Waterhouse, from the novel by Stan Barstow, this is a class-conscious kitchen sink drama starring Alan Bates (young and still very handsome) and Thora Hird (the dragon-lady par excellence), exploring the ordinary lives of working people. Seen again today, it effortlessly returns us to the era of steam trains, brass bands, town football matches, registry office weddings, terraced housing and dancing down the 'Social' - where the pressures to conform collide with a will to escape.
   First time director, John Schlesinger - whose screen career began in television documentaries - and several of the film's crew followed this modest success with superior comedy fantasy, Billy Liar, but this tale of gritty romance and marital fidelity scores top marks as character study, and remains one of the high points of British cinema's social realism.
   DVD extras: the crisp b/w cinematography by Denys Coop is preserved here to excellent standard, and there's Dolby digital 2.0 sound.

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