Promotional film poster
|Directed by||Silvio Narizzano|
|Produced by||Robert A. Goldston
George Pitcher (assoc. producer)
|Written by||Margaret Forster
|Based on||Georgy Girl
by Margaret Forster
|Music by||Tom Springfield
|Editing by||John Bloom|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures Corporation|
|Running time||99 minutes|
Georgy Girl is a 1966 British film based on a novel by Margaret Forster. The film was directed by Silvio Narizzano and starred Lynn Redgrave as Georgy, Alan Bates, James Mason, Charlotte Rampling and Bill Owen.
The title song, performed by Australian band the Seekers, became a hit single and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (music by Tom Springfield, lyrics by Jim Dale). Redgrave was also Oscar-nominated for her titular performance as Best Actress, as were Mason for Best Supporting Actor and Kenneth Higgins' cinematography. The film was entered into the 16th Berlin International Film Festival.
The film was the basis for an unsuccessful musical stage adaptation called simply Georgy.
Georgina (Lynn Redgrave) is a 22-year-old Londoner who has considerable musical talent, is well educated, and has an engaging if shameless manner. On the other hand, she believes herself to be plain, dresses haphazardly, and is incredibly naïve on the subjects of love and flirtation; she has never had a boyfriend. She has an inventive imagination and loves children.
Her parents are the live-in employees of successful businessman James Leamington (James Mason). Leamington is 49 and has a loveless, childless marriage with Ellen (Rachel Kempson, Lynn Redgrave's real life mother). He has watched with affection as "Georgy" grew up, and has treated her as if he were her second father. (He provided her excellent education and a studio for her in his own home, in which she teaches dance to children.) As Georgy has become a young woman, however, it is apparent that Leamington's feelings for her have become more than fatherly.
James offers Georgy a legal contract, proposing to supply her with the luxuries of life in return for her becoming his mistress. He also promises to provide for any "fruit of the union". Georgy sidesteps his proposal by never giving him a direct response; Leamington's business-like language and manner (and awkward inability to express any affection for her) leave her cold.
Georgy's flatmate is her so-called best friend, the beautiful Meredith (Charlotte Rampling), who works as a violinist in an orchestra, but is otherwise a shallow woman who lives for her own hedonistic pleasures. She treats the meekly compliant Georgy like an unpaid servant.
When Meredith discovers that she is pregnant by her boyfriend Jos Jones (Alan Bates), they get married. She did not bother to tell him she had had two abortions before during their relationship. Jos moves in with the two young women. He becomes disillusioned with Meredith and begins to find himself attracted to Georgy (he suddenly kisses her in the midst of an argument with Meredith over her cavalier attitude to her pregnancy). Jos and Georgy begin a secret affair, after Jos admits to seeing Meredith as their lodger and loving Georgy.
Meredith gives birth to a daughter, whom they name Sara. Since she has no interest in the baby, and is tired of Jos, she announces that she plans to put the child up for adoption and divorce her husband.
Georgy and Jos set up home together in the flat, caring for the baby and living as a married couple. It soon becomes clear that Georgy cares more for the baby than having an adult relationship with Jos, though he had already confessed to being pleased he had a daughter, believing boys need more from their fathers. The relationship ends when Jos realises he is of no real importance to Georgy and has tired of a father's responsibilities. Now that Georgy is the sole caregiver of a baby to whom she has no blood ties, Social Services wish to remove baby Sara from her care.
In the meantime, Leamington's wife has died. (At Georgy's request he has provided for all of the baby's needs, even while she was still living with Meredith and Jos.) Leamington, who was unable to express his true feelings while his wife lived, now finds himself free to express his love for Georgy and proposes marriage. Georgy accepts because this will allow her to keep Sara. The two marry despite the difference in their backgrounds and ages. Exultant, joyful singing (the song "Georgy Girl") proclaims that all is well now: "who needs a perfect lover when you're a mother at heart...better try to tell yourself that you've got your way...now you've got a future planned for you...at least he's a millionaire...you're rich, Georgy Girl."
In the car as they leave the wedding, neither bride nor groom says a word. Georgy does not look at or pay attention to her new husband, focusing only on Sara.
- James Mason as James Leamington
- Alan Bates as Jos Jones
- Lynn Redgrave as Georgina "Georgy" Parkin
- Charlotte Rampling as Meredith
- Bill Owen as Ted Parkin
- Clare Kelly as Doris Parkin
- Rachel Kempson as Ellen Leamington
- Denise Coffey as Peg
- Peggy Thorpe-Bates as Hospital Sister
- Dandy Nichols as Hospital Nurse
- Dorothy Alison as Health Visitor
- Terence Soall as Salesman
The film was successful at the box office. By 1971 it had earned an estimated $7 million in the US and $6 million in other countries.By the end of 1967 it had earned $7,330,000 in rentals in North America - see "Big Rental Films of 1967", Variety, 3 January 1968 p 25. Please note these figures refer to rentals accruing to the distributors.