Laurence Harvey plays womaniser Joe Lampton, with big ambitions, who moves up north for a new job. He soon wants things that are out of bounds, in the shape of Alice Aisgill, played by Simone Signoret, who is already married, and much older than he is, and Susan Brown, played by Heather Sears, who is much younger, and the daughter of a top industrialist in the town. It's not long before he starts dating Alice, who is unhappily married at best. But the challenge to gain Susan is still there and he can't abandon it. Soon lust, passion and greed take over, and it's not long before he is dating both women. But he must choose one of them. It soon becomes apparant that he is really in love with Alice, but after Susan becomes pregnant, he marries her.
This is a brilliant British New Wave (kitchen sink) film from the late fifties which is 5 stars, but only gets 2 because of the transfer.
Network are marketing this film as a Special Edition, and a brand new transfer from the original 35mm film elements. The special features are a commentry, and an image gallery and Jack Clayton's press cuttings. Hardly a special edition.
The transfer is appalling. It has scratches throughout the print, some heavy, the soundtrack is also appalling. It has at least one splice in the print, the image is too contrasty, and there is minor dropout, which means it could be from a tape transfer. A nice touch is the inclusion of the original censor's certificate which is X. But this also means that the print used, was probably a release print. There is no way that this is a transfer from a brand new print, which is what Network are implying.
The film is presented in it's original aspect ratio of 1.66:1. Which is why it gets 2 stars.
But at the moment it is still the only version available and if you can put up with the transfer, which is dire, this film deserves to be in any collection where there is an interest for British New Wave.