The Family Way
|The Family Way|
|Directed by||Roy Boulting|
|Produced by||John Boulting|
|Written by||Bill Naughton
|Music by||Paul McCartney|
|Edited by||Ernest Hosler|
|Distributed by||Boulting Brothers
British Lion Films
|Running time||115 min.|
|Box office||$2,225,000 (US/ Canada)|
The Family Way is a 1966 British comedy-drama film based on Bill Naughton's play All in Good Time (1963). It began life in 1961 as a television play, Honeymoon Postponed. The film was produced and directed by John and Roy Boulting, respectively, and starred father and daughter John Mills and Hayley Mills. Naughton adapted the play himself.
Following the wedding of young Jenny Piper and Arthur Fitton (Hayley Mills and Hywel Bennett), a rowdy reception is held at a local pub where the newlyweds are subjected to much well-meaning but vulgar ribaldry.
The couple returns to the Fitton home to spend their first night together before leaving for a honeymoon in Majorca, but they are followed by some of the wedding guests who keep the party going until early morning. Worse yet, when the youngsters finally are permitted to retire, their bed collapses as the result of a practical joke.
The next day they discover that the travel agent who sold them their tickets to Majorca has absconded with the money, and they are stranded in rainy England.
As days pass into weeks at the crowded Fitton home, the marriage remains unconsummated. The strain between the couple steadily worsens, with Arthur working nights as a cinema projectionist and Jenny spending her days behind a record counter. Not knowing where to turn, Arthur visits a marriage counsellor, but even this has a disastrous effect. The interview is overheard by a gossipy charwoman, and the young couple's unfulfilled marriage becomes a major topic of public gossip.
Arthur becomes the butt of scornful jokes from his boss, Mr. Thompson, who volunteers to satisfy Jenny's marital needs. Enraged, Arthur strikes his boss and returns home to berate Jenny for disclosing their secret. As a result of the quarrel, their mutual inhibitions are dispelled, and they make love for the first time. They then find that the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) bond has returned their holiday money.
The following day Arthur is encouraged by his mother to ask his father (though there is a strong hint that Arthur was in fact sired by a close friend of the man he takes for his father) for financial assistance with the down payment on a house for him and Jenny. The money is gladly granted, and Jenny and Arthur leave for a belated honeymoon.
- Hayley Mills as Jenny Piper Fitton
- Hywel Bennett as Arthur Fitton
- John Mills as Ezra Fitton
- Marjorie Rhodes as Lucy Fitton
- Avril Angers as Liz Piper
- John Comer as Leslie Piper
- Barry Foster as Joe Thompson
- Wilfred Pickles as Uncle Fred
- Liz Fraser as Molly Thompson
- Diana Coupland as Mrs. Rose
- Colin Gordon as Mr. Hutton
- Murray Head as Geoffrey Fitton
- Margaret Lacey as Mrs. Harris
- Harry Locke as Mr. Stubbs
- Robin Parkinson as Mr. Phillips
- Thorley Walters as The Vicar
The premiere of the film was in London on 18 December 1966. The film was released on video on 24 February 1989.
In popular culture
The cover sleeve of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", a single by English rock band The Smiths, features Murray Head (as Arthur's brother Geoffrey) in a still photo from the film. Another Smiths single, "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish", is adorned by a still of Avril Angers from the same film. Both songs were released from the Smiths' final album, Strangeways, Here We Come.