Room at the Top

UK Premiere: Room at the Top

classified 12A

Cinema Rediscovered 2016


Please note: This was screened in July 2016

Jack Clayton
Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears
112 mins, 1958, UK

Hailed by the Guardian as "some of the most emotionally devastating filmmaking ever created in the UK, a film that genuinely changed British cinema for ever", we must not underestimate the importance of Room at the Top. It would be true to say that it singlehandedly launched a breakthrough in British cinema: adult and forthright, it dared to show sex as enjoyable rather than sinful, and paved the way for kitchen sink dramas like Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and This Sporting Life.

In late 40s Yorkshire, Joe (Laurence Harvey) is an ambitious young man who is tired of slaving away at his job. Determined to succeed, he is drawn to Susan (Heather Sears), the daughter of the local millionaire industrial magnate, thinking she will provide a shortcut to the top. Hindered by his working class background, and frustrated by the opposition of her parents, Joe seeks solace in the arms of a lonely older woman called Alice (Simone Signoret, who deservedly won a Best Actress Oscar® for her performance). But when tragedy strikes, Joe's whole world begins to unravel...

This screening is followed by the 20th Century Flicks Film Quiz in the Café/Bar.

With thanks to Park Circus and Romulus Films. Presented on DCP, a 2K restoration by Mark Bonnici and Graham Jones (Deluxe)

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