Up the Junction (1968)

Suzy Kendall, Dennis Waterman, Maureen Lipman, Adrienne Posta,
Movie version of the BBC TV play that first addresses some of the major social issues of the day. A girl from a rich family in Chelsea is bored and decides to go "slumming" in depressed Battersea. She gets a flat and starts working...
  • 6.9 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Roger Smith, Nell Dunn, Writer:
  • Peter Collinson, Director:
  • John Brabourne, Anthony Havelock-Allan, Ned Sherrin, Producer:

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10/10 / 10

I remember the first time I saw this movie. It was around the time that myfascination for 60's British films started. I was transfixed by theportrayal of day to day life in 60's London. It was grim and miserable buteveryone got on with life.

Polly (Suzy Kendall) plays the little rich `Chelsea Girl' trying to fitintothe working class by moving to Battersea, finding a job in a factory,befriending sisters Sylvie (Maureen Lipman) and Rube (Adrienne Posta) andfinds Peter (Dennis Waterman) the Mod delivery boy as a boyfriend. Shemoves into a rundown flat whilst trying to shake off the priviledged lifeshe had with her family on the other side of the Thames. Polly tries tocreate her own working class life even though her choices do notnecessarilyreflect those of the working class she was trying to emulate.

This is a classic fly on the wall film and the scenes of the women talkingwhilst at work in the factory are brilliant. Who could forget the scene atthe pub on Friday night when Slyv and Rube get up with the band to give thecrowd a `belter'. Watching it is almost like being part of thecrowd.

This film must have been pretty hard hitting when it was released in 1967.Abortion - which had only been legalised - played a big role in the film.Hylda Baker who plays the abornist Mrs McCarthy and plays the role so well,even though it was probably a cruel act of typecasting. Domestic violencewas also portrayed in a hard hitting way even by todaysstandards.

For me this film is firmly planted at the top of my all time favourite1960's films followed closely by `A Taste of Honey', `Smashing Time',`Saturay Night Sunday Morning' and `Blowup'. If you haven't seen this film– try and get a copy on video if you can and make up your own mind. Ihonestly believe this is one of the best 60's films produced in Britain,including the clothes, the soundtrack and Adrienne Posta's eyeliner!

/ 10

An absolute must see for all lovers of 1960's culture. Not only doesitboast some of the decades finest actors, it has a beautiful soundtrackfromManfred Mann and the cinematography perfectly captures the feel of what itwas like to live in that decade.The plotline also deals with some of the pressing social issues ofthetime as well, including a very sensitive portrayal of back streetabortion,the only one coming even slightly close to the masterly "Alfie". Evenwatching this film now, I think you can really get a feel for what it waslike to be young and working class in the 1960's. GreatStuff.

8/10 / 10

Good cast, good score, good storyline, good direction... Alwaysrelevant, never boring, just atmospheric sometimes. We even have a nicelittle love story. What more can be expected from a movie?

I'm far from being British, neither was I born in the sixties, but youdon't need to be to appreciate this movie. The underlying baseline -in-communicability between social classes - is timeless.

Some reviewers say that the movie is depressing. Not more than "I'llnever forget whats Isname" and "Alfie", which are similar.

There's barely any false note in this one, including the final whichavoids all clichés. Peter Collinson handled his subject with the sameperfection all the way through than he did with his masterpiece "TenLittle Indians".

10/10 / 10

My goodness, this brought back memories. I grew up in London in the1960s and also lived in areas like this up in the Midlands. The movieis a wonderful nostalgic period piece for those of us who knew thisworld, peripherally or centrally. But the social commentary istimeless. The central character, Polly, yearns for real earthy genuineliving and crosses the bridge from upper-class Chelsea to working-classClapham to experience freedom from upper class social mores andpretension. The world she finds there is indeed real, genuine andearthy. But she has the choice to enter this world or leave it, unlikemost of the people who were born into it. And does she fully understandthe world she has entered?

3/10 / 10

"Up the Junction' is a rather dreary tale The nostalgia was therethough, especially for me whose both sets of grandparents lived at theJunction and with whom I spent an awful lot of my time, especially mymother's parents. The factory in the film was the Chelsea's ChocolateLiqueur works. The café they should have gone to was just around thecorner (it still had adverts on the window for Turf and Airmancigarettes when it was demolished around 1966). In fact I got a bitconfused about some of the other locations too. Being 'Up the Junction'I would have thought the girl would have gone down the NorthcoteMarket, but it wasn't that one she went to (no railway embankment downthere!). It might have been the one down Battersea High Street, thougheven that may not be right as I don't think the stalls went down as faras the railway. I have pondered where the shot of Pete & Polly lookingover the Junction was taken. The bright light on the sky line was theGranada Cinema at the top of Plough Road, but for them to have beenlooking across from the north like that they would have had to havebeen up high so they must have been on top of one of the factories inYork Road (the glucose or gin factories? too far west for the candleworks). Pollys flat: I couldn't place it from anywhere I knew down theJunction, but thought it was either near Battersea Park area, possiblyaround Sheepcote Lane, or maybe the Princess Head area of Battersea. Icouldn't place the abortionist place that was supposedly in Wimbledoneither. It was fun, though, racking my brains trying to identifyplaces. On the Web a site says many of the scenes are in fact ofWandsworth. My Nanny on my mother's side used to complain about 'somerich tart, what lived in the house that backed on to hers'. She saidshe was 'a dirty cow', didn't keep her windows clean and had curtainsthat were in tatters. She also moaned about the fact the girl and herlover(s) often used to stand naked at the bedroom window, and she knewmy young aunt and her mates knew it too and used to watch if they gotthe chance. Yes, it was Nell Dunn they were watching. When the book,"Up the Junction", came out my aunt got it and then passed it to Nan.Neither thought it portrayed working class Battersea. Having now, atlast, seen the film, I would agree. The houses certainly weredilapidated and the infrastructure of the places literally rotting insome cases (including that of my Nan's), but the women had pride andthey were ardent and active cleaners and very critical of any woman whowasn't. If my grandmother's place smelt of anything it was carbolic!Family violence as in the film? I suppose so, I was not personallyaware of it though I do remember hearing my Mum and Nan talking aboutlocal men, badgered by their wives, being sent to 'sort out' a man whohad made a habit of hitting his wife. Certainly no one in their rightmind would have tried getting physical with the women in my mother'sfamily. Abortions? yes they happened and everyone seemed to know whohad had one and where to go if you needed one. As a Rocker I wasinterested in the motorcycles. Like the hairstyles, they reflected theearly 60's rather than 1968 when the film was made, though I did seeone bike with a C registration (1965). Triumph changed from 'gate' to'eyebrow' tank badges in 1966, which made aging the bikes easy. Thelad's leather jackets were unadorned and they didn't wear helmets norgloves, which was very untypical of us Rockers of the period and theirriding was laughable. Not sure they would have tolerated a scooterriding Mod in their company either. Although the story was not strong,and the portrayal of much of working class life insulting, it did makeme smile at times listening to voices from much of my childhood andyouth and the memories the scenery stirred (even if they weren't allfrom the Junction). I could almost recall the smell of the Junction:leaving the station the smell of rotting bananas from the Fyfe'sstorage and cellulose paint spray from the metal cabinet factory thatstood side by side under the arches, the stench of horse excrement fromthe totters stables, the drift of stench from the Glucose and Ginfactories. Then at my paternal grandfather's house the smell of rosesand lilies in my grand-dad's garden and the smell of cooking at mymaternal grandmother's house. A different world in which childrenplayed hop scotch and cricket in the road and parents never worriedabout their kid's welfare or how they were behaving as the old folk,sitting outside their houses, kept an eye on them and disciplined themif need be. Every house used to open when you 'pulled on the string'and no one complained if you went in to use their toilet as long as youcalled out when you went in. many the time a bookies runner camethrough my Nan's calling out 'Coppers on me tail missus' and dropping afew coins as he shot through into the back yard, over the back wall andinto another house. Then there were Saturday nights sitting outside theDuke pub, drinking lemonade and eating crisps whilst using lolly sticksto prise dirt from between the paving slabs or sailing paper boats inthe gutter whilst the adults were all in the pub having a drink and aknees up. It was worth watching the film just for bringing the pastback to me.