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A Taste Of Honey [DVD] 
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Classic 1960s realist drama based on the play by Shelagh Delaney. Abandoned by her sailor boyfriend and her man-hungry mother (Dora Bryan), pregnant Manchester teenager Jo (Rita Tushingham) thinks she might have to face life's difficulties all alone. Help then comes in the form of a kind-hearted gay man named Geoffrey (Murray Melvin), who moves in and takes care of her; the two find happiness together, but soon life moves on....
This video-cassette accompanies a title in a series which offers contemporary drama and classic plays in durable classroom editions. Set in the 1950s, Shelagh Delaney's play deals with the problems of unmarried motherhood and racism. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Helen returning the following day packs her bag and leaves to get married and move to bungalow with her new found husband. Jo, on her own not for the first time, finds her own place to live and a job in a local shoeshop. She subsequently meets Geoff, a kind and gentle gay student who has been evicted from his lodgings because of his sexuality. Geoff is invited to move in with Jo and in essence becomes a substitute mother to her especially when she reveals she is pregnant to a "black prince". Although Geoff has feelings for Jo she rejects his advances and his offer of marriage "for the babys sake". Despite their apparant happiness together the peace is shattered by the return of Helen to look after her daughter in her hour of need, resulting in Geoffs timely and prudent departure.
This film portrays all the prejudices of the time but whilst pointed is also poignant.Read more ›
I treasure my DVD from the British Film Institute -- not only does it provide subtitles to the film, but there is also a hilarious commentary track by none other than Rita and Dora (with some additional comments by Murray Melvin, recorded separately).
I have nothing against this new DVD, released by Optimum Home Entertainment, but if you can find a copy of BFI's release, you'll be glad you did.
For people now in their 20s and 30s, this film marks the start of "our time" - which could mean single parenthood, awkward adolescence and materialism - amongst other things... and I'm sure our heroine Jo would make a good mother, in her own way. Does she remind anyone of their own mother? Time has aged this film like a classic wine.
Whilst the film doesn't romanticise the people involved, it is certainly a film with a sweeping romantic current. Expression of this is through the powerful and consuming but often clumsy, doomed relationships depicted in the film. Arguably this is the first and last social(ist) realist love films.
Salford does look pretty grim in this film, littered with smokestacks and factories, but there is so much depth in the performances of Murray Melvin, Rita Tushingham and especially Dora Bryan, that an eventual view of the city emerges as a human, even compassionate place.
Of course if the director and writer had set out to make such an epoch-defining film it wouldn't have happened. But it appears they stumbled into making what I would argue is one of the finest British films ever made.
"i dreamt about you last night and i fell out of bed twice"
'A Taste Of Honey' is about a young teenage girl (Rita Tushingham) who's just left school and looking to 'escape' the unhappy and unfulfilled life she's had with her neglecting and man-loving mother. (Dora Bryan)
This film made Rita Tushingham a star, who then went on to make several more well-acclaimed movies during the 60s which saw the peak of her career. This also stars Murray Melvin, who plays the 'gay friend' of Tushingham's character, and at a time when such a role was something new, and pretty daring! When I was to ask Murray to talk about his making of the film and his role some thirty years later, (he was still being asked about it) he replied by saying that if he was to respond to all those who still wished to know more of how he felt about the role, he would have little time for anything else - and one can see why!
Every star in this surpasses themselves and with a great script this just had to be one of Britains biggest successes winning at the Cannes Film Festival.
TRIVIA: Supposedly features Hazel Blears the MP as an extra at aged just five - but I don't spot her...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This Region free Australia DVD by label Shock is grand! Ok, no special features but for a unique film that this, long deleted in the UK & hard to find, as long as you have the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robert
The sell was very helpful regarding i had to send it back through my faultPublished 4 months ago by breny
Haunting and amazing film. B & W, gritty, Northern realism. One of the best films ever made.Published 6 months ago by B. Hudson