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Customer Review

76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Taste of Honey, a taste of pure nostalgia, 7 Dec. 2002
This review is from: A Taste Of Honey [DVD] [1961] (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. The characters of Jo, Geoff and Jimmy seem almost childlike and naive in their approach to life and their circumstances but Helen and Jo add humour to their mother and daughter relationship with some brilliant "catty" dialogue.
Strong performances by both Rita Tushingham as Jo,in her first film and by the irrepressible Dora Bryan as Helen. Murray Melvin sensitively plays Geoff and Robert Stephens plays Helens learing husband Peter.
A film for the classic film buff or for anyone who remembers Salford and Manchester in the 1960s
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Apr 2015 08:52:26 BDT
Why all the spoilers?

Posted on 5 Jan 2016 22:43:20 GMT
A fantastic, insightful review, thank you. I love this film more than any other, and your review nails it brilliantly.
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