Wednesday, 5 March 2008


It was not until the release of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning in 1960 that the true effect of the ‘Wave’ was felt. Directed by Free Cinema veteran Karel Reisz and produced by another Free Cinema pioneer Tony Richardson, the film took over audiences in Britain like an avalanche over a small village in some god forsaken valley. It had all the ingredients for a controversial film: an anti-social protagonist, morally questionable behaviour and portrayal of taboo topics like unwanted pregnancy and extra-marital affairs. Albert Finney brings out the performance of his lifetime in his portrayal of the hot tempered tough guy Arthur Seaton, a role which was considered Britain’s reply to Marlon Brando.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was the first film to have all its exterior shots to be filmed on location. This was a major move which would influence the following films in the New Wave to be gradually filmed entirely on location. The film was also well known for its clash with the censor board. A significant amount of dialogue in the film had to be replaced owing to the extensive use of swear words in the script. Another major problem was the depiction of Albert Finney’s character Arthur waking up on Sunday morning in bed with his colleague’s wife, a scene directly implying extra-marital affair which was not seen before in British cinema.

For more on this film and the British New Wave-->

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