DK Canada’s The Movie Book moves onto the ‘angry young English man’ section of cinema with Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Albert Finney stars as Arthur, the stereotypical angry young man. He works hard at the factory all week, drinks hard on the weekend and is involved with two different women.
He walks a fine line with Brenda (Rachel Roberts), a co-worker’s wife, and Doreen (Shirley Anne Field), taking his moments of pleasure where he can, until Brenda delivers the news that she’s pregnant.
The script is adapted by Alan Stilltoe from his novel of the same name. It’s produced by Harry Saltzman, a familiar name to Bond fans, and directed by Karel Reisz.
Everything is about Arthur. Everyone else has problems and issues, but his are always the worst. No one else really matters to him.
Things change once Doreen comes into the picture, but will his past and the man he is allow the relationship to progress?
Arthur is a familiar enough character, a young man growing up after the Second World War, seemingly trapped (and angry because of it) in a working class life with nothing to look forward to but hit the boozer on the weekends, and maybe landing a bird.
Trying to resolve the Brenda situation, he finds a potential life filled with possibilities with Doreen, but also recognizes as he throws one last rock at the end of the film, that he will always be angry because he’s trapping himself in a life that he’s choosing, even as he walks down to a blossoming suburbia with a woman he loves.
Finney is comfortable in the role of Arthur, and the film has a low-budget, edging on the corner of a documentary feel. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to Norman Rossington in the film, as the only role I had seen him in previous was as The Beatles’ manager in A Hard Day’s Night.
It’s an interesting film, one that almost plays as satire, and it’s hard not to look at it cynically, because the only thing that is really trapping Arthur in his world, is Arthur. He could work to change all of it, and while he sees the potential of something with Doreen, he is quite happy (or at least less angry) to follow in the footsteps of his parents because now he has a woman to love.
The Movie Book that fantastic tome, continue to roll out classic cinema from around the world and the ages. Pick one up from DK Books today, and find something amazing to watch tonight.