I first saw this film on late night TV in Melbourne, Australia, in the late 1980s. I love it then, but wasn't able to view it again until recently, and enjoyed it as much as my first viewing almost 30 years earlier.
One of the first things I remembered thinking after first viewing it is – why isn't this film better known? It's one of the great British films of the 1960s, and a fine example of the 'kitchen sink' genre. Added to that, it has superb widescreen cinematography – every scene is beautifully shot, the outdoor scenes particularly so. Working class London in the 60s was a ramshackle, beautiful if run-down environment. The film captures a lost world – it's a fascinating historical document as well as a serious movie.
The cast is spot on,it's all very believable, and the leads have a genuine chemistry. Suzy Kendall may have had a limited acting range – but she's perfect in this role. And so beautiful!
The story tackles all manner of social problems not just of the 60s, but universal ones applicable today as then. Some scenes are still quite disturbing to watch – this is not some 'swinging London' expose, but an accurate glimpse in to the life of working class Londoners before the gentrification process started.
I was fortunate to study British film at Monash Univeristy (Melbourne) under the great Brian MacFarlane in the 1990s. He's considered the world expert on British cinema, and was commissioned by the British Film Academy to write the authorised history of British cinema. One of the things MacFarlane consistently highlighted was the fact Brit film only began to portray the working class seriously from the late 1950s. Prior to that, working class were portrayed in movies as either servants, idiots, criminals or downtrodden miners etc. Up the Junction is a beautifully realised example of a time when the British finally began to take the working class seriously.
It's also the first film I can think of with a soundtrack written by a well known rock band – Manfred Mann. And though dated – the music is perfect for this film and captures something of the youth vibe then flowering across the western world. Truly – this is a shamefully underrated film and a must-see for anyone interested in London in the 1960s.
Up the Junction
Up the Junction
Movie version of the BBC TV play that first addresses some of the major social issues of the day. A girl from a rich family in Chelsea is bored and decides to go "slumming" in depressed Battersea. She gets a flat and starts working in a factory and makes some friends there. One of her friends is pregnant but abortion is illegal ... —Steve Crook
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
September 19, 2021 at 06:18 PM