Saturday, 11 December 2010

Saturday Night Out

‘Saturday Night Out’ is a remarkably frank film for 1964, although fairly restrained by Robert Hartford-Davis standards. It starts with a ship docking at London, and the crew and passengers disembarking for a night in the city. Over the course of the next ninety minutes, we follow the mixed fortunes of five sailors and a tourist as they pass the time in the capitol that was just starting to swing.

Serious minded Lee has tickets for the Royal Festival Hall, but somehow falls in love with kooky suicidal beatnik Penny (Heather Sears, also in ‘The Black Torment’). Worldly Arthur (Hartford-Davis favourite David Lodge) visits his ‘Mum’ (sexy Margaret Nolan, who lent her gilded body to the ‘Goldfinger’ title sequence) for a twenty four hour bunk up; Paddy just wants to get pissed, and succeeds, admirably; obnoxious Harry wants sex, at any cost; sensitive Jamie meets a homeless girl teetering on the edge of prostitution, and crusty old Bernard Lee finds himself embroiled in a blackmail scandal when he hooks up with French seductress Wanda.

Generally praised at the time for its uncompromising portrayal of adult relationships and the seamier side of the city, ‘Saturday Night Out’ seems fairly tame today, but stays interesting in the way it interweaves the plot lines of the six principal characters, as well as the glimpses of a very different London to the one we know today, a city still pockmarked with bomb sites and packed with old time pubs and people in flat caps.

Ultimately, it’s a solid but unspectacular effort from Hartford-Davis, but quite tastefully done considering the subject matter and the propensities of the director.

Here’s a clip featuring Inigo Jones as Harry in which, already half cut and desperate, he makes a decision that will very shortly leave him skint and beaten up.

1 comment:

Between Channels said...

The English 'On The Town?' Good to hear about a David Lodge film I've not seen before. Would like this and 'Two Way Stretch' for a pre-Christmas double bill.