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Customer Review

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defines an era, 4 Jun. 2004
This review is from: A Taste Of Honey [DVD] [1961] (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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Jan 2011, 18:04:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 May 2011, 08:19:19 BST
Shane Hyde says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2011, 22:30:36 BST
THEIR greatest work!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 May 2011, 08:20:21 BST
Shane Hyde says:
Thanks for pointing out my typo. The result of typing too fast.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2015, 08:40:58 BST
Make this 38 people who think this is one of the finest British films ever made. You're missing something here Shane, big time. And having watched Kind Hearts and Coronets again recently, as good as it is, it has dated painfully. This hasn't.

Posted on 5 Jan 2016, 22:49:04 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jan 2016, 23:37:33 GMT
"Time has aged this film like a classic wine." That is so, so apt for this film, Carl! Far more than the sum of its parts, today many view A Taste Of Honey as THE classic 60's British Film. Perhaps due in no small part to the very fact that they never supposed it would ever be so! The film's almost complete lack of self consciousness, impossible to duplicate today and never equalled in its time, mark it as unique and make it a sheer delight today.
In my view, the films that Shane Hyde (below) insists are better - whilst good films - suffer hugely from pomposity and stuffiness, two things thankfully markedly absent in A Taste Of Honey.
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