By Raymond Benson
Along with the French New Wave that kick-started in 1959, Britain had its own informal New Wave of what was referred to as the “angry young man” or “kitchen sink” dramas. They began on the stage with such playwrights as John Osborne. Filmmakers like Jack Clayton, Tony Richardson, Lindsay Anderson, and Karel Reisz are most often associated with the movement, which presented gritty, realistic tales of domestic or socio-economic situations involving working class families and/or single protagonists struggling to get ahead in an England that hadn’t quite pulled herself out of the post-war doldrums.
Room at the Top was one of the first—and best—of the bunch, and even more remarkable is that it was Jack Clayton’s feature directorial debut. Made on a low budget in stark black and white (photographed by the great Freddie Francis), Room stars