Wednesday, April 01, 2009

4/1/09: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

Blindingly attractive and irresistibly charismatic, young Albert Finney commands the screen in virtually every second of this adaptation of the Alan Sillitoe novel about a working-class rapscallion. As Arthur Seaton, Finney gives us a hard-working but mischievous blighter, fond of pranking, boozing, smoking, lying and fighting when he's not sweating over his lathe down at the local factory. Seaton is part sociopath and part rebel, but will he ever be tamed? His relationships with his two girlfriends—one married (Rachel Roberts) and one single (Shirley Anne Field)—will play a big part in answering that question. In a small but pivotal role, Bryan Pringle is outstanding as the husband of Seaton's married girlfriend; his scene with Finney at the end of the movie is one of the most moving I've seen in a film all year. Finally, a British film from the 1960s I'll remember for longer than a fortnight! Rating: 5/5.

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