Directed by Karel Reisz • 1960 • United Kingdom
Starring Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts
Adapted by Alan Sillitoe from his own influential debut novel, this quintessential kitchen-sink drama was one of the first films to give voice to the discontent of Britain’s working class. Arthur Seaton (Albert Finney in his breakthrough performance) is a twenty-two-year-old factory worker in Nottingham, a sprawling industrial city in the British Midlands. All week long he works hard at his lathe, asking and expecting nothing more than his weekly pay; but on Saturday evenings he asserts his independence by losing himself in drinking, brawling, and womanizing. When Brenda (Rachel Roberts), the wife of a coworker, becomes pregnant by Arthur, he begins to face the consequence of his reckless, devil-may-care ways.