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Customer Review

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexamined, somewhat empty life, 26 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Saturday Night And Sunday Morning [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Throughout the 1950s, a group of young British writers were referred to as "angry young men" because, in their novels and plays, they excoriated what they perceived to be the dominant materialistic values of their society following World War Two. They included playwrights John Osborne and Kingsley Amis and novelists John Braine, John Wain, and Alan Silitoe. This film is based on Silitoe's novel (same title) in which he focuses on Arthur Seaton (brilliantly portrayed by Albert Finney) who endures working in a factory all week so that he can afford to drink and chase women on Saturday evening. He lives (if that's the word) day-to-day, insisting "All I want is a good time. The rest is propaganda." Arthur is intelligent enough to know how to indulge his vices but lacks the wisdom to understand that he is drinking and wenching away what few prospects he has to improve his situation. It is unclear (at least to me) whether or not Arthur really wishes to do so. While continuing an affair with Brenda (Rachel Roberts), the bored and restless wife of his foreman/supervisor Jack (Bryan Pringle), Albert also becomes involved with Doreen Gretton (Shirley Ann Field) whose own ambitions seem limited to getting married and starting a family. Revealing to me is the fact that neither Arthur nor Brenda seems especially concerned about, much less rebellious against the limits imposed on them within their class-based industrial society.

Suffocation is one of the recurring themes in James Joyce's novels and short stories. I was reminded of that recently as I again observed Arthur's self-indulgent hedonism, indifference to the feelings of others, and callous betrayal of what little he has going for him. Sooner than he realizes, there will be only quiet evenings at home on Saturday. As for his Sundays, perhaps (just perhaps) they will include a moment when he wonders where his youth went as he wearily looks ahead to another dreary week in the local factory. Yes, "the sun also rises...." And then, what will its harsh light reveal?
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jul 2008 22:06:03 BDT
brian webb says:
Brenda was not married to Bert, but to Jack.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2008 17:16:17 BDT
Quite right.

Thank you for calling this error to my attention.

I shall immediately correct it.
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Location: Dallas, Texas

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