Optimum Films has given us the great gift of a beautiful, widescreen transfer of this outstanding film. The photography is stunning, the acting first-rate, and the story compelling. Peter Katin's soulful rendition of Brahm's Piano Concerto in D Minor accompanies, and complements, the touching story throughout.
Leslie Caron is perfect as 27-year-old Jane, a young French woman who finds lodgings in a seedy London rooming house. Next door to her L-shaped attic room is Johnny, a West Indian jazz musician. Downstairs is Toby (Tom Bell in his most memorable role), an aspiring writer. Avis Bunnage is the feisty Cockney landlady and Cicely Courtneidge is an over-the-hill music hall performer. A veritable treasure-trove of delightful English character actors populate their dysfunctional familial world.
The story centers around the shaky romance of Jane and Toby. She is remarkably independent for a woman of that era (1962 was just the dawning of women's rights). Tom Bell is achingly handsome, and utterly winning in his low-key, self-effacing, but determined pursuit of his neighbor. He wins her over, but then takes off when informed that Jane is pregnant by another man. If there is a false note in the film, it is Johnny's curious `morality' (especially for a jazz musician), and his spitefulness in telling Toby of the baby. But he too is in love with Toby.
We want so much for the beautiful couple to be together, the non-committal ending comes as something of a relief. At least we can hope for their future happiness.