“Have you had ‘er yet? Have you been up there? Is she any good, is she?”
When a working-class teenager (John Moulder-Brown) starts his first job at a bath house in London, he develops an enormous crush on his sexy, flirtatious, older co-worker (Jane Asher).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Black Comedy
- First Love
- Obsessive Love
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this coming-of-age film is a “near masterpiece”, with “much to admire” — including “fine ensemble acting”, “excellent location work”, an “improvisational feel”, many “wonderfully funny moments”, and a “remarkably effective use of color to heighten dramatic tension”. I disagree with Peary, however, that the film’s tragic ending comes as “too much of a surprise”; it makes perfect sense, given director Jerzy Skolimowski’s depiction of teenage love as obsessive, hopeless, and increasingly out-of-control. Moulder-Brown is well cast in the lead role, and sexy Jane Asher (best known as Paul McCartney’s red-headed girlfriend) is note-perfect as the heedless Susan, who has no idea how devastating her flirtations are for her young co-worker.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Jane Asher’s spot-on performance as the “older” femme fatale
- A seamy, bleak depiction of London streets and bath houses
- Middle-aged Diana Dors using Mike to help her masturbate
- Mike ordering multiple hot dogs from a vendor on the street, in a vain attempt to escape notice
- Mike and Susan searching for a diamond in the snow — my new, favorite phrase to replace “needle in a haystack”!
- Effective use of colors to match the characters’ emotions (read Peary’s Cult Movies review for more on this)
Yes, for its status as a cult favorite. Discussed at length in Peary’s Cult Movies (1981).
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)