Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (film)

Last updated

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Saturday Night Sunday Morning.jpg
Original British quad format cinema poster
Directed by Karel Reisz
Screenplay by Alan Sillitoe
Based on Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
by Alan Sillitoe
Produced by Tony Richardson
Harry Saltzman (executive)
Starring Albert Finney
Shirley Anne Field
Rachel Roberts
Hylda Baker
Norman Rossington
Cinematography Freddie Francis
Edited by Seth Holt
Music by John Dankworth
Production
company
Distributed by Bryanston Films (UK)
Continental Distributing (USA)
Release dates
  • 27 October 1960 (1960-10-27)(UK)
  • 3 April 1961 (1961-04-03)(US) [1]
Running time
89 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget£116,848 [2] [3] or £120,420 [4]
Box office£401,825 (UK) (as of 31 Dec 1964) [5] [6]

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a 1960 British kitchen sink drama film directed by Karel Reisz and produced by Tony Richardson. It is an adaptation of the 1958 novel of the same name by Alan Sillitoe, with Sillitoe himself writing the screenplay. The plot concerns a young teddy boy machinist, Arthur, who spends his weekends drinking and partying, all the while having an affair with a married woman.

Contents

The film is one of a series of "kitchen sink drama" films made in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as part of the British New Wave of filmmaking, from directors such as Reisz, Jack Clayton, Lindsay Anderson, John Schlesinger, and Tony Richardson, and adapted from the works of writers such as Sillitoe, John Braine, and John Osborne. A common trope in these films is the working-class "angry young man" character (in this case, the character of Arthur), who rebels against the oppressive social and economic systems established by previous generations.

In 1999, the British Film Institute named Saturday Night and Sunday Morning the 14th greatest British film of all time on its list of the Top 100 British films.

Plot

Arthur Seaton is a young machinist at the Raleigh bicycle factory in Nottingham. He is determined not to be tied down to living a life of domestic drudgery like the people around him, including his parents, whom he describes as "dead from the neck up". He spends his wages at weekends on drinking and having a good time.

Arthur is having an affair with Brenda, the wife of Jack, who works at the same factory as Arthur. He also begins a more traditional relationship with Doreen, a beautiful single woman closer to his age. Doreen, who lives with her mother and aspires to be married, avoids Arthur's sexual advances, so he continues to see Brenda, as a sexual outlet.

Brenda becomes pregnant by Arthur, who offers to help raise the child or terminate the unwanted pregnancy (abortion was not legal in Britain at the time the film takes place). Seeking advice, he takes her to see his Aunt Ada, who has Brenda sit in a hot bath and drink gin, which does not work. Brenda asks Arthur for £40 to get an abortion from a doctor.

After Doreen complains about not going anywhere public with Arthur, he takes her to the fair, where he sees Brenda with her family. When he manages to get Brenda alone, she reveals that she has decided to have the child, and then leaves Arthur to go back to her family before she is missed. Arthur follows her on to an amusement ride and gets in a car with her. Brenda's brother-in-law and his friend—both of whom are soldiers—notice her enter the ride and, following, catch Arthur riding with his arm around Brenda. Arthur escapes the ride, but the soldiers catch him later and beat him up in a vacant lot.

Arthur spends a week recovering from his injuries. Doreen visits him, and he makes the moves on her, but is interrupted by his cousin, Bert; they finally consummate their relationship later, at her house, after her mother goes to sleep. Back at work, Arthur runs into Jack, who tells him to stay away from Brenda, as they are staying together. Although he still has mixed feelings about settling into domestic life, Arthur decides to marry Doreen, and, on a hill overlooking a new housing development, they discuss their differing ideas of what their life together will look like. [7]

Cast

Production

Style

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was at the forefront of the British New Wave, with its serious portrayal of British working class life and realistic handling of topics such as sex and abortion. It was among the first of the "kitchen sink dramas" that followed the success of the 1956 play Look Back in Anger . Producer Tony Richardson later directed another such film, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), which was also adapted from an Alan Sillitoe book of the same name.

The film received an X rating from the BBFC upon its theatrical release. It was re-rated PG before a 1990 home video release. [8]

Filming locations

Much of the exterior location filming took place in Nottingham, but some scenes were shot elsewhere. For example, the night scene with a pub named The British Flag in the background was filmed along Culvert Road in Battersea, London, the pub being at the junction of Culvert Road and Sheepcote Lane (now Rowditch Lane).

According to an article that appeared in the Nottingham Evening News on 30 March 1960, the closing scene showing Arthur and Doreen on a grassy slope overlooking a housing development that is still under construction was shot in Wembley with the assistance of Nottingham builders Simms Sons & Cooke.[ citation needed ]

Financing

Bryanston guaranteed £81,820 of the budget, the NFFC provided £28,000, Twickenham Studios provided £610, and Richardson deferred his producers fee of £965. The film went £3,500 over budget and two days over schedule when filming at a Nottingham factory proved more difficult than expected. [9] Woodfall bought the rights to the novel from Joseph Janni for £2,000, and got Stiltoe to do the script because they could not afford a professional screenwriter. [10]

Reception

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning opened at the Warner cinema in London's West End on 27 October 1960, and received generally favourable reviews. It entered general release on the ABC cinema circuit from late January 1961, and was a box-office success, being the third most popular film in Britain that year. It earned a profit of over £500,000, [11] with Bryanston earning a profit of £145,000. [12]

After viewing the film, Ian Fleming sold the rights to the James Bond series to executive producer Harry Saltzman, who, with Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, would co-produce every James Bond film between Dr. No (1962) and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). [13]

Awards

AwardCategoryRecipient(s)Result
British Academy Film Awards Best Film Karel Reisz Nominated
Best British Film Won
Best British Actor Albert Finney Nominated
Best British Actress Rachel Roberts Won
Best British Screenplay Alan Sillitoe Nominated
Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles Albert Finney Won
Mar del Plata International Film Festival Grand Award for Best Feature Film [14] Karel ReiszWon
Best ActorAlbert FinneyWon
Best ScreenplayAllan SillitoeWon
FIPRESCI Award Karel ReiszWon
National Board of Review Best Actor Albert FinneyWon
Top Foreign FilmsWon

In Richard Lester's 1965 comedy Help! , Brenda's famous line "I believe you. Thousands wouldn't." is said by a police inspector after he witnesses The Beatles being attacked by a cult.

The title of indie rock band Arctic Monkeys' 2006 debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not , comes from a monologue Arthur delivers in the film.

The Stranglers' live album Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is named after the film. The Counting Crows' 2008 album is titled Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings.

"Saturday Night Sunday Morning" is the title of a song on Madness' 1999 album Wonderful .

The run-out groove on the B-side of vinyl copies of The Smiths' 1986 album The Queen Is Dead features the line "Them was rotten days," a line said by Aunt Ada in the film. "Why don't you ever take me where's it lively and there's people?", a line said by Doreen before Arthur takes her to the fair, inspired the song "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" on the same album ("I want to see people and I want to see life"). Morrissey, the lead singer and lyricist of The Smiths, has stated that the film is one of his favourites. The song, "Lily of Laguna", can be heard being sung in the background at the bar; the lyric, "I know she likes me, because she said so," is referenced in the song "Girl Afraid."

Arthur Seaton is mentioned in the song "Where Are They Now?" by The Kinks, which appears on their 1973 album Preservation Act 1 .

Arthur Seaton is mentioned in the song "From Across the Kitchen Table" by The Pale Fountains.[ citation needed ]

The promotional video for the 2013 Franz Ferdinand single "Right Action" uses elements of the graphic design from the film's original cinema poster, and some of the song's lyrics were inspired by a postcard addressed to Karel Reisz that the band's lead singer, Alex Kapranos, found for sale on a market stall.[ citation needed ]

The film is referenced in Torvill and Dean , a 2018 biopic of Nottingham ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Like Arthur, Jayne's father works in the Raleigh factory, and when a young Jayne mentions the film, her mother scolds her and calls the film "rude".

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lindsay Anderson</span> British feature-film, theatre and documentary director, and film critic (1923–1994)

Lindsay Gordon Anderson was a British feature-film, theatre and documentary director, film critic, and leading-light of the Free Cinema movement and of the British New Wave. He is most widely remembered for his 1968 film if...., which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival in 1969 and marked Malcolm McDowell's cinematic debut. He is also notable, though not a professional actor, for playing a minor role in the Academy Award-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire. McDowell produced a 2007 documentary about his experiences with Anderson, Never Apologize.

Cecil Antonio Richardson was an English theatre and film director, producer and screenwriter, whose career spanned five decades. He was identified with the "angry young men" group of British directors and playwrights during the 1950s, and was later a key figure in the British New Wave filmmaking movement.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alan Sillitoe</span> English writer

Alan Sillitoe FRSL was an English writer and one of the so-called "angry young men" of the 1950s. He disliked the label, as did most of the other writers to whom it was applied. He is best known for his debut novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and his early short story "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner", both of which were adapted into films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rachel Roberts (actress)</span> Welsh actress (1927–1980)

Rachel Roberts was a Welsh actress. She is best remembered for her screen performances as the older mistress of the central male characters in both Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) and This Sporting Life (1963). For each, she won the BAFTA Award for Best British Actress. She was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for This Sporting Life. Her other notable film appearances included Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) and Yanks (1979).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karel Reisz</span> British filmmaker

Karel Reisz was a Czech-born British filmmaker and film critic, one of the pioneers of the new realist strain in British cinema during the 1950s and 1960s. Two of the best-known films he directed are Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), a classic of kitchen sink realism, and the romantic period drama The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981).

<i>Saturday Night and Sunday Morning</i> 1958 novel by Alan Sillitoe

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is the first novel by British author Alan Sillitoe and won the Author's Club First Novel Award.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kitchen sink realism</span> British social realist artistic movement

Kitchen sink realism is a British cultural movement that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatre, art, novels, film and television plays, whose protagonists usually could be described as "angry young men" who were disillusioned with modern society. It used a style of social realism which depicted the domestic situations of working-class Britons, living in cramped rented accommodation and spending their off-hours drinking in grimy pubs, to explore controversial social and political issues ranging from abortion to homelessness. The harsh, realistic style contrasted sharply with the escapism of the previous generation's so-called "well-made plays".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Christopher Dean</span> English ice dancer (born 1958)

Christopher Colin Dean, OBE is a British ice dancer who won a gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics with his skating partner Jayne Torvill. They also won a bronze medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Radford, Nottingham</span> Human settlement in England

Radford is an inner-city area of Nottingham and former civil parish in the Nottingham district, in the ceremonial county of Nottinghamshire, England, located just outside the city centre. The appropriate ward of the City of Nottingham Council is Radford and Park which, in 2011, had a population of 21,414. It is bounded to the south by Lenton and to the east by Nottingham city centre, and comprises around 600 acres (240 ha) of land.

The British New Wave is a style of films released in Great Britain between 1959 and 1963. The label is a translation of Nouvelle Vague, the French term first applied to the films of François Truffaut, and Jean-Luc Godard among others.

<i>The Entertainer</i> (film) 1960 British film

The Entertainer is a 1960 British kitchen sink drama film directed by Tony Richardson, produced by Harry Saltzman and adapted by John Osborne and Nigel Kneale from Osborne’s stage play of the same name. The film stars Laurence Olivier as Archie Rice, a failing third-rate music-hall stage performer who tries to keep his career going even as the music-hall tradition fades into history and his personal life falls apart. Olivier was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shirley Anne Field</span> English actress (1936–2023)

Shirley Anne Field was an English actress who performed on stage, film and television since 1955, prominent during the British New Wave.

Free Cinema was a documentary film movement that emerged in the United Kingdom in the mid-1950s. The term referred to an absence of propagandised intent or deliberate box office appeal. Co-founded by Lindsay Anderson with Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson and Lorenza Mazzetti, the movement began with a programme of three short films at the National Film Theatre, London on 5 February 1956. The programme was such a success that five more programmes appeared under the ‘Free Cinema’ banner before the founders decided to end the series. The last event was held in March 1959. Three of the screenings consisted of work from overseas filmmakers.

<i>The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner</i> (film) 1962 British film

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a 1962 British coming-of-age film directed by Tony Richardson, one of the new young directors emerging from the English Stage Company at the Royal Court. The screenplay was written by Alan Sillitoe, based on his 1959 short story of the same title, and concerns a rebellious youth who has been sentenced to a borstal for burgling a bakery. He gains privileges in the institution through his prowess as a long-distance runner, but reveries of important events before his incarceration that he has during his solitary runs lead him to re-evaluate his status as the prize athlete of the Governor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bryanston Films (UK)</span>

Bryanston Films was a British film company formed by Michael Balcon and Maxwell Setton in mid-1959 following the collapse of Ealing Studios. Neither a production studio, nor a distributor, it released independent British films through British Lion Films In operation until 1963, it was intended to be an unofficial group of independent film producers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Savoy Cinema, Nottingham</span> Cinema in Nottingham, England

Savoy Cinema is on Derby Road in Nottingham, England. It is the only surviving pre-Second World War cinema in Nottingham.

<i>Key to the Door</i> 1961 novel by Alan Sillitoe

Key to the Door is a novel by English author Alan Sillitoe, first published in 1961.

<i>The Open Door</i> (Sillitoe novel)

The Open Door is a 1989 novel by Alan Sillitoe. It is the third and final part of the Seaton family trilogy which commenced with Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958) and then Key to the Door (1961).

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a 1958 novel by Alan Sillitoe.

References

  1. The Times, 27 October 1960, pages 2: First advertisement for the film – found through The Times Digital Archive 14 September 2013
  2. Chapman, J. (2022). The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985. Edinburgh University Press p 360
  3. Petrie, Duncan James (2017). "Bryanston Films : An Experiment in Cooperative Independent Production and Distribution" (PDF). Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television: 7. ISSN   1465-3451.
  4. Chapman, L. (2021). “They wanted a bigger, more ambitious film”: Film Finances and the American “Runaways” That Ran Away. Journal of British Cinema and Television, 18(2), 176–197 p 182. https://doi.org/10.3366/jbctv.2021.0565
  5. Petrie p. 9
  6. Sarah Street (2014) Film Finances and the British New Wave, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 34:1, 23-42 p27, DOI: 10.1080/01439685.2014.879000
  7. Russell, Jamie (7 October 2002). "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)". BBC . Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  8. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning BBFC page
  9. Petrie p. 9
  10. Harper, Sue; Porter, Vincent (2003). British Cinema of The 1950s The Decline of Deference. Oxford University Press USA. p. 184.
  11. Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p. 239
  12. Petrie p. 9
  13. Field, Matthew (2015). Some kind of hero : 007 : the remarkable story of the James Bond films. Ajay Chowdhury. Stroud, Gloucestershire. ISBN   978-0-7509-6421-0. OCLC   930556527.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  14. "Mar del Plata Awards 1961". Mar del Plata. Retrieved 25 November 2013.