Best Social Realist Films

by brownmpaul | created - 25 Sep 2015 | updated - 01 Dec 2015 | Public

Social realist & socialist film

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1. The Family Way (1966)

Approved | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Compassionate look at the troubles of two young newlyweds, whose marriage has yet to be consummated.

Directors: John Boulting, Roy Boulting | Stars: Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, Avril Angers, John Comer

Votes: 1,180

2. Kes (1969)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama, Family

A young, English working-class boy spends his free time caring for and training his pet falcon.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: David Bradley, Brian Glover, Freddie Fletcher, Lynne Perrie

Votes: 16,805

3. Poor Cow (1967)

Approved | 101 min | Drama

A young woman lives a life filled with bad choices. She marries and has a child with an abusive thief at a young age who quickly ends up in prison. Left alone she takes up with his mate (... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Terence Stamp, Carol White, John Bindon, Queenie Watts

Votes: 1,160

4. The Wednesday Play (1964–1970)
Episode: Cathy Come Home (1966)

75 min | Drama

Cathy loses her home, husband and eventually her child through the inflexibility of the British welfare system.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Carol White, Ray Brooks, Winifred Dennis, Wally Patch

Votes: 857

5. The Wednesday Play (1964–1970)
Episode: Up the Junction (1965)

72 min | Drama

Fragments of the life of three working-class women, and the people around them, in South London in the 1960s. Scenes in homes, streets, pubs, prison and their workplace cover family, friendship, romance, sex, and abortion.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Carol White, Geraldine Sherman, Vickery Turner, Tony Selby

Votes: 113

6. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, Romance

A rebellious, hard-living factory worker juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but pregnant with his child.

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field, Rachel Roberts, Hylda Baker

Votes: 6,973

7. A Taste of Honey (1961)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama

A pregnant teenage girl must fend for herself when her mother remarries, leaving the girl with only a new male friend for support.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Rita Tushingham, Dora Bryan, Robert Stephens, Murray Melvin

Votes: 4,291

8. The L-Shaped Room (1962)

126 min | Drama, Romance

A single, pregnant woman moves into a London boarding house where she meets a group of fellow misfits.

Director: Bryan Forbes | Stars: Leslie Caron, Anthony Booth, Avis Bunnage, Patricia Phoenix

Votes: 1,577

9. The Birthday Party (1968)

G | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The down-at-heel lodger in a seaside boarding house is menaced by two mysterious strangers, who eventually take him away.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Robert Shaw, Patrick Magee, Sydney Tafler, Dandy Nichols

Votes: 628

10. Meantime (1983 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Drama

69 Metascore

When one brother gets a job from their wealthy aunt, the other becomes increasingly jealous.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Marion Bailey, Tim Roth, Phil Daniels, Pam Ferris

Votes: 3,000

11. Made in Britain (1982 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 76 min | Crime, Drama

Trevor is a 16 year old, sometimes-violent skinhead with no regard for authority, and would rather spend his time stealing cars than sitting in the detention centre to which he is sent. His... See full summary »

Director: Alan Clarke | Stars: Tim Roth, Terry Richards, Bill Stewart, Eric Richard

Votes: 5,566

12. Scum (1979)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama

An uncompromising story of life in a British juvenile offender institution in the 70's.

Director: Alan Clarke | Stars: Ray Winstone, Mick Ford, Julian Firth, John Blundell

Votes: 9,186

13. Made (1972)

R | 101 min | Drama

The story of the relationship between a young single mother and an insecure rock star.

Director: John Mackenzie | Stars: Carol White, Roy Harper, John Castle, Margery Mason

Votes: 99

14. Billy Liar (1963)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A lazy, irresponsible young clerk (Sir Tom Courtenay) in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie, Wilfred Pickles, Mona Washbourne

Votes: 5,233 | Gross: $0.04M

15. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Sport

A juvenile offender (Sir Tom Courtenay) at a tough reform school impresses its Governor (Sir Michael Redgrave) with his running ability and is encouraged to compete in an upcoming race, but faces ridicule from his peers.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Avis Bunnage, Alec McCowen

Votes: 7,131

16. Riff-Raff (1991)

Unrated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of Stevie, a construction worker, and his girlfriend, an unemployed pop singer, serves to show the living conditions of the British poor class

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Robert Carlyle, Emer McCourt, Jim R. Coleman, George Moss

Votes: 3,726 | Gross: $0.30M

17. Boys from the Blackstuff (1982– )

50 min | Drama

Five unemployed men would do anything just to have a job in Thatcher's Britain.

Stars: Michael Angelis, Bernard Hill, Alan Igbon, Peter Kerrigan

Votes: 961

18. Naked (1993)

Not Rated | 132 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

Parallel tales of two sexually obsessed men, one hurting and annoying women physically and mentally, one wandering around the city talking to strangers and experiencing dimensions of life.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge, Greg Cruttwell

Votes: 30,840 | Gross: $1.77M

19. A Way of Life (2004)

91 min | Drama

At 17 LeighAnne Williams has a six month old baby to look after, with only the help of three teenage squatters who flog stolen gear to make ends meet. A neighbour (actually from Turkey) ... See full summary »

Director: Amma Asante | Stars: Stephanie James, Gary Sheppeard, Nathan Jones, Dean Wong

Votes: 590

20. Look Back in Anger (1959)

Approved | 98 min | Drama

A disillusioned, angry university graduate comes to terms with his grudge against middle-class life and values.

Director: Tony Richardson | Stars: Richard Burton, Claire Bloom, Mary Ure, Edith Evans

Votes: 3,011

21. The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008)

R | 150 min | Action, Biography, Crime

76 Metascore

A look at Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s.

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Martina Gedeck, Moritz Bleibtreu, Johanna Wokalek, Bruno Ganz

Votes: 33,854 | Gross: $0.48M



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