- Actors: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears, Donald Wolfit, Donald Houston
- Directors: Jack Clayton
- Writers: John Braine, Mordecai Richler, Neil Paterson
- Producers: James Woolf, John Woolf, Raymond Anzarut
- Format: PAL
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 12
- Studio: Dd Video
- DVD Release Date: 21 Jan. 2002
- Run Time: 113 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B00005UWOW
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,895 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Room At The Top [DVD]
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Classic 'kitchen sink drama' from the British New Wave of the 1960s. Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey) is an ambitious young man who is tired of slaving away at his job and sets his sights on his boss's daughter, Susan, thinking she will provide a short-cut to the top. Hindered by his working class background, and frustrated by the opposition of Susan's parents, Joe seeks solace in the arms of a lonely older woman named Alice (Simone Signoret). But when he then inadvertently causes Alice's death in a road accident, Joe's whole world begins to unravel.
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Top customer reviews
1950s Yorkshire forms the backdrop for this steamy, sexy black and white film which concerns itself with a deeply flawed, ultimately tragic, love triangle. Laurence Harvey is mesmeric as Joe Langton; a raging, angry, working class lad who'll use anyone to get to "the top". But; it's Simone Signoret who steals the show as Joe's sexy, smouldering French lover; this was by far her best role. Langton is possibly one of the most vile movie characters of all time; he shows little emotion and even less morality and Laurence Harvey deserved an Oscar for playing him with such conviction. Sad, dark, twisting plot with no room for happy endings as Langton sets out to intentionally destory the lives of the two women who love him. Scenes from a much changed Yorkshire are highly evocative and though the quality of the movie isn't great, it's grainy and jumps around a fair bit, that just seems to add to the overall atmosphere.
Others of the same genre are : "Up the Junction" and "A Taste of Honey".
If you don't know these clasics, you have missed an experience - indeed, an education.
It was an important film made at the time since adult films as a rule in those days did not explore human relationships in any great depth. Room At The Top however, changed all that.
Based on a best selling novel by John Braine who also wrote "The Jealous God" the story centres around an ambitious social climber Joe Lambton who has moved to a northern town in order to fulfil his ambitions and to get on in life and be a success.
After securing a post in Local Government, he joins a local drama group and meets Alice Aisgill an unhappily married woman played by the lovely Simone Signoret (who oozes sex appeal throughout and dominates all her scenes). Seeking more from life however, he then meets Susan Brown (Heather Sears) drifts into a relationship with her, and at the same time continues with his relationship with Alice. Being ambitious however, he knows perfectly well that marrying the bosses' daughter will enhance his own personal standing and secure his future.
Although the film may seem rather dated today, and the sex scenes extremely tame, (they were tastefully done for the time) strong performances from the lead actors have made this film the classic it is.
Older viewers will recognise many of the locations where the film was shot, the railway station at Halifax, and the main street in Bradford where Joe Lampton gets off a bus when he sees Susan Brown in a shop.
It does remain to this day one of the finest films made in Britain.
Now perhaps, we can have a re-release of the sequel Life At The Top which starred Jean Simmons who has died recently as a tribute to her.
This film is a fine example of the British "kitchen sink" dramas so popular in the late 1950's. Joe Lampton arrives in Warnley to work in the accounts dept. for the local council. From the word "Go" he is resentful of anyone who has more money/status than he has and sets out in ruthless fashion to use anyone or anything to achieve his goal, which in this case is the daughter of the local industrial tycoon.