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4.1
495 Ratings

A Taste of Honey

Directed by Tony Richardson
United Kingdom, 1961
Drama

Synopsis

This film version of Shelagh Delaney’s play follows the hopes and dreams of five people. Jo is the neglected 16-year-old daughter whose promiscuous mother marries a dandy. Jo gets pregnant after a tryst with a black cook, who leaves her over his impending responsibilities of fatherhood.

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A Taste of Honey Directed by Tony Richardson

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1962 | 2 wins including: Best Actor

National Board of Review

1962 | Winner: Top Ten Films

BAFTA Awards

1962 | 4 wins including: Best British Actress

1962 | 2 nominations including: Best Film from any Source

Directors Guild of America

1963 | Nominee: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures

This astonishing play was by an eighteen-year-old woman, Shelagh Delaney, whose reaction to one of Terence Rattigan’s well-made and polite dramas was the conviction that she could do better herself. Richardson not only produced and directed the film but also cowrote the screenplay with Delaney. Their script is faithful to the dialogue and plot of the play but explodes it out of the cramped settings of cheap apartments and into the rural and urban landscapes of industrial Lancashire.
August 23, 2016
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The film’s complicated treatment of love stands out as its best asset. Jo’s fling with a black sailor, which results in her pregnancy, is sweet, charming, and funny… As a film that celebrates and fears the quickly changing world, A Taste of Honey is gifted with its central performance from Tushingham, which keeps it fresh and timeless. It isn’t perfect, however; the filmmaking displays discomfort in how to treat a feminine drama versus a male one.
August 23, 2016
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Shelagh Delaney’s adaptation of her own play finds an acid touch in Richardson’s direction, which treats Jo and Helen’s constant bickering as the anchor for their humanity.
August 23, 2016
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