Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (1960)

“What I’m out for is a good time –
all the rest is propaganda!”

A change of pace tonight. It’s the turn of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), director Karel Reisz’s adaption of the semi-autobiographical novel by Alan Sillitoe. This film not only heralded the birth of a new wave of realistic and gritty British films – popularly known as “kitchin sink” dramas – it also helped launch the career of Albert Finney.

Finney’s Arthur Seaton, a machinist at a Rayleigh bike factory in Nottingham, chaffs against the life society has imposed on him, dismissing those who conform (including his parents) as “dead from the neck up”. The film depicted a level of realism previously rarely seen in British cinema and opened the door for similar urban dramas such as A Kind of Loving, Billy Liar and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is a film that observes but doesn’t judge. Is it gritty and angry? Definitely. Nihilistic? Probably. Grim? Never. In fact at times it’s very funny: Finney’s baiting of a nosey neighbour, leading to a visit from the local police, is very entertaining. And there’s an exuberance and angry energy to his character that’s enduring – he’s a born fighter, even if he isn’t quite sure what he’s fighting for or against.

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning Blu-ray

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