"wonderfully restored on DVD and Blu-Ray and deserves its place amongst the greats of British Cinema"
Re-Released on Monday is Midnight Cowboy director John Schlesinger’s 1962 drama A Kind of Loving.
An acclaimed piece of British Cinema set firmly in the famous ‘kitchen sink’ mould, the film is both something of a censorship landmark (it was amongst the first British films to feature bare breasts) and a thematic story that still manages to resonate today.
Alan Bates stars as draughtsman Vic, a man trying to find his direction in life when he falls for attractive co-worker Ingrid (June Ritchie). With some somewhat risqué (for the time) dialogue, the film brilliantly contrasts something slowly approaching laddish culture with the seemingly more innocent elements of courtship before an amusing scene on the football terrace and latterly a chemists, brings around the notion of (un) safe sex. From Saturday night, we move into Sunday morning.
Ingrid falls pregnant and so Vic does the honourable thing, tying himself down to a wife and child. This somewhat scuppers any opportunity of him finding out what he really wants to do with his life and it is here that the film really holds up over 50 years later. While certain social elements of the plot may have dated it somewhat, thematically it can still speak to a generation
Bates, in a role that Albert Finney turned down, paints Vic to be a truly believable character that we in equal parts feel anger towards down to his self-centred nature and empathise with, especially when dealing with his over-bearing mother-in-law (Thora Hird). Meanwhile Ritchie brings a sense of both grace and vulnerability in what was her feature film debut.
It may feel a tad slow at times, but A Kind of Loving has been wonderfully restored on DVD and Blu-Ray and deserves its place amongst the greats of British Cinema.