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Up The Junction [DVD]
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A girl from the fashionable end of Chelsea goes down Market to Battersea to experience life. Based on a semi-documentary about Lond on's freewheeling lifestyles of the 1960s.
Tired of her comfortable life in Chelsea, Polly (Suzy Kendall, To Sir With Love) decides to go 'slumming' in Battersea to see how the other half lives. She soon settles into her new digs, gets a job at a factory, and makes some friends. When one of those friends accidentally falls pregnant, Polly is awakened to the reality that abortion is illegal and can only be gotten through shady back-street dealings. Controversial at the time of its release due to the uncomfortable subject matter, Up the Junction presents a gritty, unappealing view of working class life in Britain, and calls to mind such kitchen sink dramas as Mike Leigh's Vera Drake and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Based on the novel of the same name by Nell Dunn.
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Top Customer Reviews
Julie Christie lookalike Suzy Kendall plays the posh young idealist who follows her dream of leaving her stuffy and over privileged life in Chelsea to slum it among the 'more real', 'more alive' people of downmarket Battersea. Her resulting journey looks both nostalgic and other worldly to us now, and perhaps it was laid on a bit thick with the class divide thing and the experiencing real life stuff, but this WAS a different era to today. So it romanticises the lives of down at heel but good hearted Londoners somewhat, and maybe even overstates the effects of the class divide a little but it does make for a moving film experience. Has some fantastically arty scenes, such as the courting scene in the half demolished house where they look out through the rubble at London with an orange sunset. It is both very astute and faintly naive, and really bigs up the idealism of Suzy Kendall's character, who is overall a very believable 1960s character.Read more ›
I think that this adaptation from the Nell Dunn story is a true classic of sixties British cinema. There are crisp, vibrant colours and a fantastic sound-track from Manfred Mann that is very reminiscent of the sound of Crosby, Stills & Nash that was still to come. There are also some fine character performances from the likes of Maureen Lipman and Adrienne Posta. The subject matter is very contemporary as abortion was only just being de-criminalised at the time
I've just bought this film on DVD, having previously being conned into buying a pirated copy on E-bay (out of desparation at its non-availability). The picture is a revalation (full wide-screen) and the sound is very good. Unfortunately, there are no extras. I would have thought Dennis Waterman, with all his exposure on tv in recent years, could have at least been given the opportunity of providing an audio commentary, but I'm not complaining.
The story is great too, and tackles the hopes and dreams of the different social classes, and their attitudes to life and money. In many ways it all looks a bit innocent now, even the hard-hitting stuff, and you'd imagine that rich Chelsea girl Suzy Kendall would actually have lasted about five minutes in the real world. However, the film is 40 years old, so that could just be the cynical 21st century viewer speaking.
Dennis Waterman looks about fifteen but his acting, along with all the others, is brilliant. I want his scooter too. Everyone looks stylish, except the rockers, and even Maureen Lipman looks hip when she's not in a pinafore. Up the Junction is a superb film, with an atmospheric and evocative soundtrack, and if you have any interest whatsoever in our cultural and social past, have a look at it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gritty 'fly on the wall' social film about rich girl rebelling against her class and background in London. Good film and quite watchable.Published 2 months ago by H. L. Radcliffe
Interesting scenes of London way back then. Good performances throughout.Published 4 months ago by B