John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy, Sunday, Bloody Sunday, Marathon Man) was once quoted as saying, "What interests me is not the hero but the coward . . . not the success, but the failure.”
That sense of empathy and melancholy is at the heart of this debut feature, crisply adapted from Stan Barstow's best selling novel and starring Alan Bates in his first leading role as Vic Brown, the son of working class parents who has ambitions to make something of himself. He's secured a white-collar job as draughtsman with a reputable firm, and starts dating typist Ingrid (June Ritchie). Everything is turned upside down when Ingrid becomes pregnant - which forces a marriage much earlier than either of them can handle - and moving in with the worst possible mother-in-law (an exceptional performance by Thora Hird.)
There's a tenderness about A Kind of Loving which sets it apart from many of the British "kitchen sink" "grim up North” films that came to prominence in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Vic is not an angry young man rebelling against anything and there’s something deeply moving about the plight of both Vic and Ingrid in their attempt to find happiness and, ultimately, 'a kind of loving'.
- With an introduction from Watershed's Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove
Presented on DCP. A new Digital Film restoration funded by StudioCanal in collaboration with the BFI’s Unlocking Film heritage programme (awarding funds from the National Lottery). A Kind of Loving also screens as part of Cinema Rediscovered's Trip to Curzon Cinema & Arts Clevedon on Fri 29 July.