The Other Side of the Underneath is a 1972 British feature film written and directed by Jane Arden and starring Sheila Allen, Liz Danciger, Penny Slinger, Ann Lynn, and Suzanka Fraey. Other members of the Holocaust Theatre Company appear in the film. It is the only British feature film in the 1970s to be solely directed by a woman. Jane Arden herself also appears in the film. The title of the film is taken from a line in Arden’s play Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven which was a huge success at the London Arts Lab in 1969. —Wikipedia
Jane Arden was born in Wales in 1927 and left for London in her teens.
She trained at RADA and quickly began working as an actress and playwright. It was there that she met her future husband, Philip Saville, who is now perhaps most known for his work Boys from the Blackstuff (1982) and The Life and Loves of a She-Devil (1986). They had 2 children, Sebastian Saville and Dominic Saville and one step- child, Elizabeth Saville.
Jane Arden’s plays include Armchair Theatre: The Thug (1959) which starred Alan Bates, The Party (1968) which was directed by Charles Laughton and gave Albert Finney his first role in the theatre, Post Mortem (1999), The New Communion For Freaks, Prophets and Witches, De illusionist (1984) and Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven (1969).
Jane Arden began tracing female oppression in 1966 when she wrote a script for the film Six: The Logic Game (1965). It was described as… read more
I saw the work print of this, with 20 more minutes than the final version. Some of the additional scenes don't work at all and make the first half even more difficult to get through than it already is. But many moments astonish and terrify, and it all adds up to the most gruelingly accurate depiction of a schizoid mindstate on film.
My decision to rewatch this – the only British film made in the 1970s by a female director, a fact that is embarrassing in hindsight – was the result of a review by a podcast called Outside the Cinema… read review