"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
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.
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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