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The Family Way (Boulting Brothers Collection) [DVD]
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Hywel Bennett and Hayley Mills play newlyweds living in a small, Lancashire village with the groom's dominating father (John Mills). When they are unable to consummate their marriage, the young bride determines it is her fault - neglecting to consider the bullying behaviour of the father towards her husband.
The Family Way is a curiosity, a film that straddles two eras. Set in a tight-knit, Northern, working-class community, it harks back to 1950s' British cinema. There are characters here--for instance, John Mill's beer-quaffing patriarch or Wilfred Pickles' Uncle Fred--who wouldn't look out of place in an Ealing comedy. The screenplay by Bill Naughton (who also wrote Alfie) mines the same vein of whimsical, but well-observed character-based humour that you find in films such as Passport to Pimlico and Whisky Galore. Yet it deals with certain subjects that Ealing would never go near--namely the sex lives of its protagonists. The benighted hero is Arthur Fitton (Hywel Bennett), a shaggy-haired young local lad who has just wed the beautiful Jenny (Hayley Mills), but is having difficulty consummating the relationship. He's living at home, and is at odds with his father (John Mills), with whom, in the film's most memorable set-piece, he has an epic arm wrestling bout.
Director/producer team Roy and John Boulting never quite fulfilled their potential. In the 40s, they made such ground-breaking films as Graham Greene's Brighton Rock and Fame is the Spur, a story of a young politician who loses his idealism and reforming zeal the closer he moves to the heart of the establishment. In the 50s, they too seemed to lose their ambition, turning to light comedy. The Family Way, which boasts music by Paul McCartney, makes some witty points about the clash between youngsters growing up in the not-so-permissive 60s and their parents (who think they're spoiled rotten) but hardly ranks with their best work. --Geoffrey Macnab --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As soon as I saw it was being released I pre-ordered it. My dvd finally arrived last weekend and it was watched almost immediately. My love for it hasn't changed - it's FABULOUS!!
The writing is so brilliant, the acting is spot-on and the atmosphere of the 60's is caught superbly.
If I never buy another dvd again, it doesn't matter, because I've finally got this one.
Go on, buy it, you really won't regret it!
This comedy/drama is gentle and sweet and has sympathetic performances by all. Mills leaves behind the perky child she played in her early films; here she's a sensible and mature bride and even shows off her bum. Bennet is memorable as the intense and miserable husband; but the real stars of the film are John Mills and Marjorie Rhodes who play Arthur's working-class parents. They give remarkably compelling performances and bring real depth to the story, adding a painful subplot from their own newlywed days. Their stoic characters aren't accustomed to talking about emotions, but their devotion to one another is never in doubt. The location filming in Bolton gives a gritty, honest feel to the film, and the busybody neighbors add good humor. I heartily recommend this touching story with first-rate acting and a soundtrack by Paul McCartney.
Secondly, The Family Way has so much heart, and is so perfectly acted as well as directed, that it seems to be effortless. The wonderful script allows John Mills to deliver a couple of lines which reach right into your chest and twist.
When seeing this on TV as a young teenager, what caught my attention (as a young gay man) was the unflinching message that parents ought to proudly love and support their children - whether they're straight or gay.
Gayness isn't the key element of this film at all - but in order for us to understand the true nature of this small family's connectedness we are led to jump to some conclusions.
While probably being risque for the time (even with such a reputable cast) - this is likely to be one of the most morally sound and ultimately satisfying stories that you'll ever witness on film.
I found the social background fascinating - old world meets new. A mixture of two-up two-downs with outside toilets and new housing estates. Package holidays abroad and honeymoons in old English resorts.
The characters are all well drawn, and the themes of the film centre on masculinity and marriage. These have aged very well and are still as fresh and relevant today as they were when this was filmed. If you enjoy 'kitchen sink' drama (or anything with real characterisation) more than the usual Hollywood blockbuster, then this film is for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of Bill Naughton's finest. A little dated now but still gives a humourous but thought provoking story of a Bolton worling class family in the 1960's. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Tolkien
one of my all time favourite movies. Brilliant performance from the entire castPublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
A hugely entertaining and very charming British comedy from the late 1960's. I was very surprised to find that this film has stood the test of time and still appears fresh today as... Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Main
Old fashion views and values....a DVD of its time! Loved watching it.Great actors.Published 4 months ago by kathleen bassett