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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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.
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.
Shelagh Delaney was one of the "Angry Young People",who helped change Post War Britain into the "Brave New World" of the 1960's.Along with director Tony Richardson,she developed her play into a prime example of "English New Wave "Cinema.Later snobbishly described as "Kitchen Sink Drama/Realism.The film blends brilliantly a tale of youth,class,race and sexuality,into a piece not only of its time,but our time as well!
Delaney's characters are vividly drawn. Film and play are familiar to any Smiths fan, but do they reach as wide an audience as they deserve? Or is the subject matter still too risqué for the mainstream?
Heartbreakingly real .. a sort of romantic-realism; terrifyingly adult when I saw it at the cinema as a child, and now it is too close to the poverty of the relationships of that time and place. Unexpectedly, the photography of the urban landscapes of Manchester is monumentally beautiful
I was expecting something akin to Italian Neorealism with the British New Wave, and while there are shades of that (what with all the working class struggles and what not), this is certainly its own thing. What struck me most was how incredibly daring it is about topics such as race and sexuality.
A fantastic example of British Kitchen Sink film making. A Northern English girl becomes pregnant by a sailor that soon has to leave. Living on her own because her domineering mother has kicked her out, she soon becomes friends with a gay young man that wants to help her. Of course, things don't end well when her annoying mother returns.
Possibly my favourite Richardson till now. Camera is playful as hell doing all it can to distract yhou from what is really going on, photography is stunning, specially the shooting of the main character, engaging acting(except for the mother's boyfirend who is a bit disappointing). The script is not conceptually strong but supports delivery of the rest adequately while covering important subjects.