Friday Night Movie Number 43– Up The Junction

I first saw this film many years ago but only recently rediscovered it. It is a classic of what I would call British social realism. It’s one of those ‘social issue’ films and is the movie version of what started out as a BBC play which was directed by Ken Loach. This version, for those who dislike Ken Loach is not that version it is the big screen version directed by Peter Collinson. One of the producers on the film was Ned Sherrin and the background cast contains many of the stalwarts of British cinema and TV at the time such as Queenie Watts and Hylda Baker

The plot revolves around Polly, a girl from a rich family in Chelsea who tired of her privileged life decided so move across the River Thames to Battersea where she takes a job in a sweet factory. She settles into the life that what she wants, which is an ordinary one. Life for her across the river is an eyeopener for her and she experiences things that her previously sheltered existence had not prepared her for. She meets and falls for a man, Peter, played by Dennis Waterman, who works in a second hand shop and he cannot see what the attraction for Battersea is for Polly. He wants nothing more than to escape the poverty and overcrowding that he has been brought up with.

All is as humdrum and as ordinary as Polly wishes it to be until one of her friends falls pregnant via a boyfriend and because she is in no position to keep the baby and, to be quite frank, her boyfriend isn’t exactly marriage material, she decides to have an abortion. Unfortunately for her abortion is illegal and she visits an illegal abortionist to get rid of the unwanted pregnancy, which has serious after effects. This is as you can imagine horrifically traumatic for her and her family and friends dare not call a doctor for her because the doctor would see that an abortion had been carried out and inform the police.

The film then flies to its denouement with Peter desperately trying to impress Polly even though she is completely immune to being impressed by material things. I won’t spoil the ending if you have not seen it but there is a twist to the tale at the end.

This is a brilliant film and is an example of how British cinema of the late 1960’s dealt with difficult social issues. It has an interesting soundtrack with a lot of input from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. If you want to see the full cast and crew list, you can get it via the IMDB site the link for which is below the embedded film.

Hope you enjoy it.

2 Comments on "Friday Night Movie Number 43– Up The Junction"

  1. And now I have that ‘Squeeze’ song as an earworm…. 😉

    • Fahrenheit211 | March 27, 2015 at 6:45 pm |

      I love that tune 🙂 One of the heartbreaking things about this film is it shows the same working classes whom the Labour Party has spent the years since the film was made in 1968 attempting to destroy with dumbed down schools and exams, mass immigration and attacks on free speech. An ordinary working person, one who isn’t a full time benefit claimant in council property, could now not afford to live in Battersea. Slightly off topic have you seen Guido’s piece on Ed Miliband in Rotherhithe? Apparently Labour went out of their way to keep out locals and kept the meeting on a deprived estate for Labour party workers only. Keir Hardie must be spinning in his grave at the modern day Labour Party.

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