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A Kind of Loving

"British Film Making At Its Best"

"This is a fine example of British movie making and is worth seeing for the performances by Alan Bates; June Ritchie and of course, Thora Hird"

A Kind of Loving with Alan Bates and June Ritchie by John Schlesinger by Tony Richardson with Rita Tushingham and Dora Bryan

Drama based on the novel by Stan Barstow which tells of a young draughtsman who is forced into marriage after making his girlfriend pregnant. Living with her dragon-like mother soon makes him realise that his marriage is just a fragile relationship based purely on sex.

Review

Pity poor Vic (Alan Bates): when he begins a relationship with Ingrid (June Ritchie), a typist at the Lancashire factory where he works as a draughtsman; his life comes apart at the seams. Ingrid's gossiping, malicious friends are bad enough, but her mother Mrs Rothwell (the terrifying Thora Hird) is something else. Vic has to marry Ingrid - she's pregnant - and the only place for them to stay is chez Rothwell.

There's a tenderness about A Kind of Loving which you don't find in the more abrasive "kitchen sink" films of the 60s. Vic is not a rebel like Arthur Seton in Saturday Night, Sunday Morning or a macho lunk like Richard Harris' rugby-league player in This Sporting Life. He's a likable, easygoing youngster who soon discovers that real-life love affairs are infinitely messier than he and his mates could ever have imagined. The acute, witty screenplay, adapted by Willis Hall and Keith Waterhouse from Stan Barstow's novel, shows how limited Vic and Ingrid's choices really are. They have no privacy or independence. Bounced into a marriage that neither necessarily wants, their romance quickly sours. Mrs Rothwell is truly the mother-in-law from Hell - a busybody and a tyrant. Look out for the Queen Victoria-like expression on her face when a drunken Vic throws up in her front room. Debut-feature director John Schlesinger captures the humour and the pathos in the young lovers' plight without ever making fun of them.

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