Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema
Collection of eight films produced by the Woodfall Films company, founded in 1958 by director Tony Richardson. In 'Look Back in Anger' (1959) Richard Burton plays angry young man Jimmy Porter in this screen adaptation of John Osborne's ground-breaking stage play. Jimmy, university-educated, articulate and poor, is angry with almost everything and everyone; from the government and the church to his long-suffering wife, Helena (Claire Bloom). In 'The Entertainer' (1960) a tatty, ageing seaside performer is a failure as a family man and as an entertainer. Laurence Olivier plays the excruciating Archie Rice, with an ego that destroys the lives of those closest to him. In 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' (1960), Arthur Seaton (Albert Finney) is a young man filled with a rage perhaps even he doesn't fully understand. Working in the tough environment of a Nottingham factory, he compensates for the drudgery and discipline of his weekday life with weekends spent drinking and womanising. His affair with a fellow factory worker's wife, Brenda (Rachel Roberts), seems especially ill-advised - particularly when Brenda informs him that she is pregnant with his child. With abortion illegal at the time, Arthur and Brenda face a difficult dilemma. Will Arthur face up to the kind of domestic responsibilities he openly scorns or run harder than ever? In 'A Taste of Honey' (1961), when pregnant Manchester teenager Jo (Rita Tushingham) is abandoned by her sailor boyfriend and her man-hungry mother (Dora Bryan) she realises she might have to face life's difficulties all alone. Help then comes in the form of a kind-hearted man named Geoffrey (Murray Melvin) who moves in and takes care of her. The two find happiness together, but soon life moves on... In 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' (1962) Colin Smith (Tom Courtenay), a cynical working class youth, finds himself in a boys' reformatory for robbing a bakery. The governor in charge of the reform school (Michael Redgrave) preaches to his inmates that exercise and physical challenge can permanently destroy a boy's rebellious streak. But Colin is fortunate enough to be on the boss's good side due to his natural running prowess and is offered the chance to train for a race against the local public school. Tensions build as the big day approaches and after a lot of time spent thinking on his lonely runs, Colin might just reconsider his naturally rebellious instincts. In 'Tom Jones' (1963) a country boy who has a taste for wine, women and money enjoys many bawdy exploits. Whilst trying to create his own wealth, Tom Jones (Finney) sets his sights on a girl named Sophie (Susannah York) but her family have other plans for her. In 'The Girl With Green Eyes' (1964) an innocent Catholic girl (Tushingham) moves to Dublin where she falls for an older, more sophisticated man (Peter Finch). The relationship infuriates the girl's father, who tries in vain to end it. Finally, in 'The Knack... and How to Get It' (1965) Michael Crawford stars as Colin, an awkward and naive teacher who shares a flat with smooth-talking womaniser Tolen (Ray Brooks). Keen to capitalise on the sexual revolution occurring around him, Colin asks Tolen for some advice about how to seduce women. His first port of call is to get himself a new, bigger bed; and while he and his other flatmate, Tom (Donal Donnelly) are procuring one, they meet Nancy (Tushingham), an innocent country girl who agrees to come along with them. Things are looking up for Colin... until he gets Nancy back to the flat, where she meets the irresistible Tolen and falls under his spell. Can Colin get 'the knack' in time to beat Tolen at his own game?