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A Taste Of Honey [DVD] [1961]

4.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Rita Tushingham, Dora Bryan, Robert Stephens, Murray Melvin, Paul Danquah
  • Directors: Tony Richardson
  • Producers: Tony Richardson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Oct. 2008
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D07QEO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,576 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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....

Synopsis

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.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Shot mainly on location in the cities of Salford and Manchester, this gritty 1961 film by Tony Richardson, based on the play by Shelagh Delaney, deals with what were the sensitive subjects of the time namely, mixed race relationships, homosexuality and teenage pregnancy. Jo, who is first seen as an awkward schoolgirl,lives with her somewhat wayward and sluttish mother, Helen, who has an eye for the men and seems always to be one step ahead of the rent man. Jo meets and falls for a young black sailor, Jimmy, whilst mother Helen agrees to marry local business shark Peter, who has an eye for the ladies. Following an aborted trip to Blackpool from which Jo returns alone early, she meets up with her new boyfriend and spends the night with him.
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.
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Format: DVD
A TASTE OF HONEY is one of the defining films of the early 60s British New Wave. Rita Tushingham and Dora Bryan are absolutely marvelous in this film.

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.
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Format: DVD
This film defines the beginning of the sixties, with Britain emerging out of the long years of postwar austerity, and as such, is useful for students of postwar history as well as cultural studies. More than anything, it depicts, without romanticism, the working class ! The pub scenes and a crowded Blackpool depict a bygone age when youth culture was becoming available to all, technology hadn't wiped out people's jobs and much of the Victorian housing hadn't been cleared in favour of housing blocks.
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.
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I was a girl in the 60s and this film reflects this era very well. Rita Tushingham is excellent as is Dora Bryan. In fact the portrayal of the style, time and expectations is as I remember it. And we think that dysfunctional families are a sign of these times, watch this film to be reminded that it was happening then.
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Format: DVD
Absolute belter this film dora bryan is just excellent. This film looks at single parenthood in the 60s(not a million miles away from the present era) A Young girl leaves school at the first chance she can desperate not to end up like her mother but ends up pregnant to a merchant seaman.Lots more happens but if i start there will be no need for you to get the film will there. If your a smiths fan watch out for the immortal lyrics from "reel around the fountain"
"i dreamt about you last night and i fell out of bed twice"
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Format: DVD
Certainly one of the greatest, well-acclaimed and most significant pictures to come out of the early 1960s.

'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.

Great stuff!

TRIVIA: Supposedly features Hazel Blears the MP as an extra at aged just five - but I don't spot her...
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