First released in 1965 but shown only in art-house cinemas, which is where I first saw it, it went on to win Dame Judi Dench a 'Most Promising Newcomer' BAFTA and it's Director Anthony Simmons the Cannes 'Prix des Cinemas d'Art et d'Essai'. It then dropped off the radar and I don't recall it ever having been on TV, so it is a rare bird indeed, and a most welcome release on DVD.
It was originally conceived as three entirely separate short films to be made on micro-budgets. The first story line concerns the river police finding the body of a young woman floating in the Thames, the second features the wonderful Ann Lynn and and a somewhat less convincing Brian Phelan, she a night club entertainer, he her lover struggling to make a commitment, and the final thread stars Judi Dench, married and with a small child, locked in domestic combat with boorish husband Norman Rodway and his less-than-welcome friend Joe Melia, a jokey but ultimately lonely bachelor.
The Director then hit upon the plan of splicing the three strands together to make a single full-length feature, inter-cutting between the 3 story-lines, which is a technique we are well used to today but which was then very innovative. In truth, one is left hoping the three plots will eventually come together but they never do, which is somewhat unsatisfactory.
The young Judi Dench is luminous, oozing sadness in her constricted domestic plight. The DVD is worth buying for that alone, but there are many other pleasures, not least the glowing cinematography, with splendid Thames-side locations, and the DVD is a clean print in correct 16:9 ratio, unlike many cropped 4:3 re-releases from this era. (Note to Amazon, please let us have more information on aspect ratios).