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4.7 out of 5 stars163
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 August 2013
English screenwriter and director Ken Loach`s television play which he co-wrote with English screenwriter Jeremy Sandford (1930-2003), is partly inspired by real events. It premiered on BBC in 1966, was shot on locations in England and is an English production which was produced by English film and television producer Tony Garnett. It tells the story about a woman named Cathy Ward and a man named Reg who decides to form a family together after he has gotten himself a good job. Cathy and Reg gets married, moves into a new posh apartment in London, England and Cathy gives birth to their first child named Sean, but then Reg has an accident at his job and is put on sickness benefit. As Cathy starts looking for a place for them to live she learns that being a family has no advantages on the housing market and all though Reg is on the road to recovery, their promising family life turns into an ongoing strive to get themselves a new home in a society where thousands of people are on waiting lists to find a place to live, and a matter of survival.

Distinctly and engagingly directed by European filmmaker Ken Loach, this finely paced and somewhat fictional tale which is narrated by the female protagonist and mostly from hers and the male protagonist`s viewpoints, draws a dense and unflinchingly heartrending portrayal of a married couple from the working-class who as they welcome more lives into their family becomes one of the many people of England who has to endure life in unjustifiable living conditions. While notable for its distinct and naturalistic milieu depictions and fine black-and-white cinematography by English cinematographer Tony Imi (1937-2010), this narrative-driven and monologue-driven story about homelessness and social conditions depicts two humane studies of character about a father who goes from one job to another to support his family, a decent and caring mother who raises her children and moves from one place to another with her spouse and how these two kindred spirits are separated by the circumstances they are faced with, contains a timely score.

This political, conversational, at times humerous and sociological documentary drama from the late 1960s which is set in England in the early 1960s and where two English citizens who after having established themselves as a family in Great Britain in the mid-20th century becomes, as one of the narrator`s so eloquently puts it, casualties of the welfare state, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, efficient continuity, multiple viewpoints and voice-over narrations, gracious characters and the involving acting performances by English actress Carol White (1943-1991) and English actor Ray Brooks. A revering, unsentimental and life-affirming drama which nearly half a century ago was and still is an important acknowledgment of those many ordinary people from various parts of society who unwillingly are degraded to vagrants and where the fragments of fiction is brought to insignificance by the prominent authenticity which Ken Loach consistently maintains in his films.
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on 23 June 2013
Occasionally ropy acting and ad-libbing aside, Cathy Come Home is a very watchable curiosity piece of 'sixties working class life, and a critique of a bureaucracy which often split up families and made bringing up children in a stable environment impossible. As much a documentary as a drama, Cathy Come Home focuses more on delivering a message of social injustice than character development, with Cathy and husband Reg being sketches rather than fully realised individuals. Nevertheless, as we journey with them on their downward slope we can empathise as they stumble from one naive mishap to another - some of us will even recall when life was just like this for us. Perhaps not as grim, but all too close to home all the same.

I was vacillating between giving my review three stars or four, but ended up deciding on the latter as CCH does bear repeated viewing and does show life in the 1960s as many will remember it. For them, the 'sixties were as much about grinding poverty as they were about Swinging London, mini skirts, beehives and the Beatles. Cathy ends up destitute having spent time in an institution little better than a 1930s workhouse - something worth remembering when you next see a minor celeb paid to "remember" how wonderful life was in one of those 'I Love the Sixties' shows.
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on 29 January 2015
I know this film is a classic. Carol White is pretty much the same character as her portrayal in "Poor Cow". It's difficult to say whether the film is well acted or not as it comes across as a docudrama. Certainly, the film has captured the conditions, bureaucracy, desperation and squalor of Britain in later post-war years. I wasn't in the mood when I tried watching it and had to switch off after 45 minutes. Perhaps it negatively reminded me of conditions in the 60's . The 50's weren't so bad as we had no expectations then but as we pushed against the system in the 60's, we knew we could have better but it was a helluva battle to get there. Anyone thinking of a career in social services should watch this as a compulsory part of training.
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on 18 August 2014
Have seen it years ago. Having watched it again , I think I was getting a bit mixed up with my memories of the old film, and may have thought it was like Up the Junction when I ordered it. However, when I did re watch it, with new eyes so to speak, and with knowledge of the Social situation today, it really was an eye opener. I had forgotten that it used to be that way. I think young women and young men to day should be made to watch it if they are living a life whereby the State is giving them a home, paying for their children, and helping them out. Let them see that the way their grandparents would have been treated was vastly different, and much more severe. A real good drama/documentary of the way things were in the 1960s.
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on 18 October 2011
I remember seeing this documentary when it was originally shown and thought, at the time, how sad it was. The main characters play a good part, portraying the lives of how a lot of couples in the sixties suffered. Yet, have things really changed that much today? Hmmmm!
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on 19 September 2010
The DVD has been made for the French market but the language is in English so its OK. There are subtitles in French and the film is in B/W.Its so well acted that the film seems to be more like a real life documentary.Very powerful stuff,superb part played by the beautiful Carol White.Excellent period photography illustrating the living conditions of some less fortunate than others and how the unhappy circumstances have been arrived at.Its a classic for sure.
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on 8 January 2008
I watched Cathy Come Home on dvd just last night and simply had to give it a 5 star Amazon rating.
I can't even begin to say how much this affected me, the importance of this television drama even today cannot be understated and it will stay with you long after. It has to be one of the most heartbreaking british films ever made. Beautifully acted by all, you just hope all the way through that everything for Cathy and her children will be allright. I came to this as a person not even alive when this was made, and watched it not really knowing the story that well.
I think this film is essential viewing for all, and those who didn't get to see it the first time should undoubtedly make the effort to see it.
I'm generally speaking not one for watching extras on DVDs but the short
10 min or so documentary that accompanies this DVD is also interesting viewing (though perhaps smacks a little of government propaganda), the biographies of the writer and director are interesting reading too.
You can't help but feel that (without giving anything away) if this were American everything would have turned our alright and that Cathy and her family would have not been so tragically let down. The stark realism depicted is as relevant today as it was back in 1966. Buy it.....
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on 14 December 2013
This is of interest socially set as it is in the 1960's. Sadly the problem of homelessness is still a huge issue in this country at the moment and on the increase. This reflects the sadness when families were split up in those times because of how fathers were treated too. I think it is interesting historically, but feel sorry the problem has not disappeared today. As a drama documentary it made a huge impact then.
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on 23 June 2016
I watched this as a young boy in the seventies, my background was similar being constantly moved . The one thing that upset me was the ending , I was lucky my mother did not leave until I was seventeen , although sadly the same way the leading actress went.after all these years it still has the impact it had when I first saw it. I cried
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on 3 March 2014
I found this film to be thought provoking of those times it was set,I saw this years ago and it makes anyone realise how lucky someone else is today in the same position as these people,even then life could be hard if there was no help,Its worth a watch and count your blessings..
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