Film Review Saturday Night AND Sunday Morning

September 27, 2012 by Arthur Chappell  
Published in Marriage

A gtim up North Kitchen Sink drama about a man out for nothing but a good time finding the consequences of his lifestyle catching him up.


Spoiler space

A major Kitchen Sink angry Young Men drama of the 1960’s that still stands out today.

Albert Finney is Arthur Seaton, a hedonistic mill worker, counting the time to weekends when he can go out having fun (mostly involving beer and womanising). He hates his job, and loves only the money. Though a grafter, he is insubordinate and surly, and indicates a passion for strikes and other industrial action.

He has no intention of settling down to a stable relationship or marriage. He sees the men around him at the factory as destroyed by domestication. Arthur is quite hateful of older people and women. He attacks the local gossips with an air rifle, safe in the knowledge that family and friends will cover for him when the police are called in. He knows the older husbands of the women concerned are too old and weak to fight him. He is a bully, though faced with stronger opponents; he is unable to offer much resistance.

In the pubs he is a boastful drinker, trying to down as many pints as he can in any given session, and often close to causing trouble. He spills beer on other drinkers and falls down stairs.

It is his personal relationships that really lead to trouble for him though. Already closely involved with a married woman, Brenda, who is the wife of a close co-worker he embarks on another affair with a woman called Doreen, who is at least single. His relationships lead to a great deal of local gossip, but he is indifferent until the consequences of his carefree couldn’t care less attitude close in on him.

When Brenda discovers that she is pregnant.  Arthur finds the need to do something grown up and responsible for once. He feels that as if his world is crashing down round his ears. Both he and Brenda try to gain a back street illegal termination for the foetus, but they fail to get someone to do it properly before Brenda changes her mind.

When their relationship, as well as his affair with Doreen is discovered, Brenda‘s husband sets some army friends relatives on Arthur, and give him a severe beating.

Arthur returns to work, with and the men make an uneasy peace that could disintegrate at any time. His relationship with Doreen continues and Arthur, finding his fight for independence has ended so disastrously, seriously considers settling down to marry the single lady. They watch the building of a new modern housing estate from the Nottingham hills. It is a very different world than the terraced Victorian / Edwardian housing streets Arthur has known all his life. Together, the couple move down the hill towards the new houses for a closer look, and Arthur’s lifestyle comes closer to an end. His whole way of life seems doomed and it is uncertain if this is a positive progress for him or a tragic end to his carefree lifestyle. 

Based on an Alan Sillitoe novel, and set in Nottingham, in keeping with Sillitoe’s post-modern D H Lawrence style of writing. The film marked the debut performance of Hilda Baker, aunty and the first to attempt to help destroy her foetus, but having no idea how to achieve it other than through prescribed hot baths and drinking lots of gin. Baker was later to become a leading British TV comedy actress throughout the 1970’s.

Arthur Chappell

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2 Responses to “Film Review Saturday Night AND Sunday Morning”
  1. Martin Kloess Says:

    Thank you for this.

  2. Martin Kloess Says:

    Thank you

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