Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (film)
|Saturday Night and Sunday Morning|
Original British quad format cinema poster
|Directed by||Karel Reisz|
|Produced by||Tony Richardson
|Written by||Alan Sillitoe|
Shirley Anne Field
|Music by||John Dankworth|
|Edited by||Seth Holt|
|Distributed by||Bryanston Films (UK)|
|Running time||89 min|
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a 1960 British film produced by Tony Richardson. It is an adaptation of the 1958 novel of the same name by Alan Sillitoe. Sillitoe wrote the screenplay adaptation and the film was directed by Karel Reisz.
Arthur Seaton is a young machinist at a Nottingham factory. He is determined not to be tied down to living a life of domestic drudgery like the people around him, including his parents, whom he describes as "dead from the neck up". He spends his wages at weekends on drinking and having a good time. Arthur is having an affair with Brenda, the wife of an older co-worker. He also begins a relationship with Doreen, a single woman closer to his age. When Brenda gets pregnant, Arthur asks his Aunt Ada for advice on aborting the child as abortions in the United Kingdom were not legalised until 1967.
None of Ada's advice works and Brenda decides that she will keep the child and suffer the consequences. There is a terrifying scene where Brenda's husband finds out about her pregnancy and affair with Arthur. He enlists the help of his brother and a fellow soldier to chase Arthur down through a town carnival and give him a severe beating. Arthur is trapped on a carnival ride as the two soldiers menacingly stand and wait for him. Brenda resumes her normal life - taking care of her husband and children while Arthur slowly recovers. After recovering, Arthur returns to work but knows he can never see Brenda (or his soon to be born child) again. The film ends with Arthur and Doreen discussing marriage and the prospect of a new home together.
The film is among the first of the social-realist or "kitchen sink dramas" which followed the success of the play Look Back in Anger. Others include Tony Richardson's The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (from Alan Sillitoe's 1959 collection of short stories of the same name) and A Taste of Honey, John Schlesinger's A Kind of Loving and Billy Liar, and Lindsay Anderson's This Sporting Life. It was at the forefront of the British New Wave, films dealing with working class life in a serious manner for the first time and portraying the more realistic side of sex and abortion. The film received an X rating from the BBFC upon its theatrical release and later was submitted for re-rating for the home video release and given a PG rating.
Much of the exterior filming was done on location in Nottingham, though some scenes were shot elsewhere. The night scene with a pub named "The British Flag" in the background was filmed along Culvert Road in Battersea, London, the pub being at the junction of Culvert Road and Sheepcote Lane (now Rowditch Lane).
The closing scenes show Arthur and Doreen on a grassy slope overlooking a housing estate with new construction going on. According to an article in the Nottingham Evening News on 30 March 1960, this was filmed in Wembley with the assistance of Nottingham builders Simms Sons & Cooke who set up a staged "building site" on location.
- Albert Finney as Arthur Seaton
- Shirley Anne Field as Doreen
- Rachel Roberts as Brenda
- Hylda Baker as Aunt Ada
- Norman Rossington as Bert
- Bryan Pringle as Jack
- Robert Cawdron as Robboe
- Edna Morris as Mrs Bull
- Elsie Wagstaff as Mrs Seaton
- Frank Pettitt as Mr Seaton
- Avis Bunnage as Blousy Woman
- Colin Blakely as Loudmouth
- Irene Richmond as Doreen's Mother
- Louise Dunn as Betty
- Anne Blake as Civil Defence Officer
- Peter Madden as Drunken Man
- Cameron Hall as Mr Bull
- Alister Williamson as Police Constable
- Peter Sallis as Man in Suit (uncredited)
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning opened at the Warner cinema in London's West End on October 27th 1960 and received generally favourable reviews. The film went on general release on the ABC cinema circuit from late January 1961 and was a popular success, being the third most popular film at the British box office in that year. It earned over half a million pounds in profit.
The film won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film in 1961.
Popular culture references
The runout groove on the B-side of vinyl copies of the Smiths' 1986 album The Queen Is Dead feature the line "Them was rotten days" said by Aunt Ada (Hylda Baker) in the film. Also the line said by Doreen before Arthur takes her to the fair "I want to go where there's life and there's people" inspired the song "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" on the same album ("I want to see people and I want to see life").
Arthur Seaton is also mentioned in the song "From Across The Kitchen Table" by the Pale Fountains.
The film is referenced, not least in the form of the promo video using elements of the original cinema posters' graphic design, in the 2013 Franz Ferdinand single Right Action. Some of the song's lyrics were inspired by a postcard found by the band's lead singer Alex Kapranos for sale on a market stall, the postcard being addressed to the film's director, Karel Reisz.
- The Times, 27 October 1960, pages 2: First advertisement for the film - found through The Times Digital Archive 2013-09-14
- Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p. 88
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning BBFC page
- Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company The Changed the Film Industry, Uni of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p 239
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning in the British Film Institute's "Explore film..." database
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning at the Internet Movie Database
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning at AllMovie
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning at the TCM Movie Database
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning at Rotten Tomatoes
- British New Wave Essay on Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, at BrokenProjector.com. Archived at Webcite from this original URL 2008-05-08.
- Photographs of The White Horse Public House, Nottingham as featured in the film