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The L-Shaped Room [DVD] [1962]

29 customer reviews

Price: £9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
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£9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: Leslie Caron, Anthony Booth, Brock Peters, Tom Bell, Pat Phoenix
  • Directors: Bryan Forbes
  • Writers: Lynne Reid Banks, Bryan Forbes
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Jun. 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRNMVM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,919 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Leslie Caron stars as Jane, a young woman abandoned by the father of her unborn child. She contemplates an abortion after taking refuge in a boarding house full of strange misfits. But after meeting and falling for Tom, a struggling writer who lives above her, she begins to settle into her new place making new friends quickly.

From Amazon.co.uk

The L-Shaped Room, adapted by writer-director Bryan Forbes from Lynne Reid Banks' novel, unfolds in a dank, depressing London boarding house. Leslie Caron plays Jane Fosset, a 27-year-old French woman, down on her luck, who takes a room. There are bugs in her mattress. The taps drip. The landlady ("the lovely Doris") is a drunken, malicious busybody. Forbes doesn't paint the English in a flattering light. They're covetous, eccentric and xenophobic. "I never close my door to the nigs," Doris tells Fosset, as if to prove that she is no racist. When Fosset reveals that she's pregnant and unmarried, everybody turns against her. The one real friend Fosset makes is Toby (Tom Bell), an impoverished would-be writer who lives in the room downstairs. She starts an affair with him, but for all his protestations to the contrary, he too turns out to be moralistic and conservative--he can't accept the idea that she is having another man's baby.

Forbes' dialogue sometimes grates, the film risks running into a dead end (Fosset is stuck with nowhere to go and no prospects), but this is compelling fare all the same. Cameraman Douglas Slocombe (who went on to shoot Raiders of the Lost Ark) makes the boarding house seem as gloomy and oppressive as a Gothic mansion. Forbes doesn't sentimentalise at all. The London he portrays is nothing like the swinging, hedonistic city shown in later British movies of the 60s. --Geoffrey Macnab --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By FAMOUS NAME VINE VOICE on 14 April 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Moving and quite touching story of relationships, lovers and strangers from various backgrounds getting to know each other in a set of dingy rooms.

'Jane' (Lesley Caron) moves into rooms let within a large house. When she arrives, no-one knows she is pregnant. (bearing in mind this is 1962) She rents a room at the top of a house with various other occupants. At first, it appears that everyone keeps themselves to themselves, and that it is unlikely that she'll ever have anything to do with any of them.

Whilst there, she begins a relationship with a handsome 'Tom Bell', whose character lives just below her. Eventually, she gets to know the rest of the Tenants who are not so bad after all.

This movie makes subtle hints at male homosexuality, lesbianism, prostitution and racism. It is also a great example at showing how everyone has their good side - and how tolerant people can be. There's a particularly touching scene when Jane's black neighbour whimpers in the night through their partition asking for forgiveness after confessing he's told lies about her out of spite and jealousy concerning her relationship with the young man below.

A real 'mixed bag' of actors in this - including; Pat Phoenix (formerly Elsie Tanner of Coronation Street), Dame Cicely Courtneidge, Mark Eden, Nannette Newman, Bernard Lee and Tony Booth.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Gwilliam on 3 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bryan Forbes's "The L-Shaped Room" never seems to be recalled as readily or praised as lavishly as other films from the new wave of British 'kitchen-sink' dramas like "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" or "A Taste of Honey" but it it quite their equal. The director makes sparing but effective use of locations in a lost London of Rachmanland bed-sits and corner caffs, but most of film takes place in the eponymous claustrophobic room in sleazy boarding house-cum-knocking-shop run by a splendidly repellent Avis Bunnage.
Leslie Caron takes refuge there as she considers her options. Pregnant, unmarried and out of work, she mis-trusts, but is gradually befriended by, the other occupants of the house: Tom Bell went on to a career playing coppers and heavies, but here he is a charming romantic lead as a struggling writer. Brock Peters is, it must be said, somewhat over the top as a jazz trumpeter, and Cicely Courtneidge (mis-spelt on the liner as Courinedge) steals the entire film as a resting thespian. In her very late '70's when the film was made, she had had a long career on the halls and in film with husband Jack Hulbert, but this is surely her career-best performance. The scene where she shows Caron a photo of her dead long-time companion will break your heart. Pat Phoenix of Coronation Street fame contributes a fine cameo as an ageing tart with a heart of gold. Caren herself is tender, vulnerable yet tough, a fine performance in a perfect role for her.
Presented in monochrome in correct 16:9 ratio, this DVD while enthral you for the whole of its two-hour running time.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. FUSCO on 30 April 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Billy on 22 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD
That I never give films a fair chance is an accusation often thrown at me whenever I report that I started watching such and such a film, only to give in 20 minutes later. What these people fail to understand, however, is that 20 minutes is all I need to determine whether or not it's going to be worth my time, and sometimes I'll know even before that.

But it is just as true to say I know I'm going to love a film just as quickly, and I've yet to be wrong on this. The L-Shaped Room is one such film.

What makes this film so utterly watchable is Leslie Caron's performance (Oscar nominated, and rightly so) as Jane Fosset - a mid-20s, French girl over in London, trying to escape her pregnancy. Watching this film, I found myself unable to take my gaze from her face for a single second, such is the power of her presence.

The story itself is a simple one, but beautifully done and acted by the supporting cast; a miss-match of 'outsiders' living in the various rooms of the boarding house whom Jane gets to know and befriend. Maybe I'm growing more and more sentimental with each passing year, but many of the scenes are heart-breaking and if you're anything like me you'll find yourself wishing you had the chance to be Jane's 'knight in shining armour'.
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