The Family Way

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The Family Way
1967 movie poster Warner Brothers.jpg
Directed by Roy Boulting
Produced by John Boulting
Written by Bill Naughton
Roy Boulting
Jeffrey Dell
Starring Hayley Mills
Hywel Bennett
John Mills
Marjorie Rhodes
Murray Head
Avril Angers
Music by Paul McCartney
Cinematography Harry Waxman
Edited by Ernest Hosler
Distributed by Boulting Brothers
British Lion Films
Warner Brothers
Release dates
  • 18 December 1966 (1966-12-18)
Running time
115 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $2,225,000 (US/ Canada)[1]

The Family Way is a 1966 British comedy-drama film based on Bill Naughton's play All in Good Time (1963).[2] It began life in 1961 as a television play, Honeymoon Postponed.[3] The film was produced and directed by John and Roy Boulting, respectively, and starred father and daughter John Mills and Hayley Mills.[4] Naughton adapted the play himself.[2]


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.


Production notes[edit]

The Family Way soundtrack was scored by Paul McCartney, who was still a Beatle at the time, and producer George Martin.[4]

The premiere of the film was in London on 18 December 1966. The film was released on video on 24 February 1989.


Most of the filming took place in Rochdale with some scenes in Bolton and Slough.[5][6][7] Some indoor scenes were filmed at Shepperton Studios.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

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.[9] Another Smiths single, "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish", is adorned by a still of Avril Angers from the same film.[10] Both songs were released from the Smiths' final album, Strangeways, Here We Come.[11]


  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1967", Variety, 3 January 1968 p 25. Please note these figures refer to rentals accruing to the distributors.
  2. ^ a b "The Family Way (1966)". BFI. 
  3. ^ Honeymoon Postponed at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ a b "The Family Way (1967) - Full Credits -". Turner Classic Movies. 
  5. ^ men Administrator (19 April 2010). "Town is backdrop to so many films". men. 
  6. ^ Steve Howarth (8 September 2015). "Review: The Family Way @ Bolton Octagon". men. 
  7. ^ "Reel Streets". 
  8. ^ "The Family Way - Pinewood filming location". 
  9. ^ "Morrissey". 
  10. ^ "I started something I couldn't finish - The Smiths". 
  11. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Strangeways, Here We Come". AllMusic. 

External links[edit]