LOOK BACK IN ANGER (Mirando hacia atrás con ira), by Tony Richardson (United Kingdom)
Jimmy, a disaffected university graduate living in an industrial Midlands town, kicks back at the social establishment around him and the middle-class aspirations of his wife, Alison. Earning a scant living as a local market trader, Jimmy is increasingly bitter about his situation while Alison faces the brunt of his resentment. Their already troubled marriage reaches a crisis point when an old friend of Alison lodges with the couple and soon becomes the object of Jimmy’s aggression and attention.
THE ENTERTAINER (El animador), by Tony Richardson (United Kingdom)
The son of a legendary music hall comedian, Archie is strictly a third-rater, headlining a tacky music hall revue in a seedy seaside resort town. Archie can’t admit that he’s a failure, and his grim insouciance destroys everyone around him. Archie finagles his dying father into financing one last revue; he cheats shamelessly on his alcoholic wife; and he all but forces one of his sons to run off to join the army, only to die in the Suez. Through all his personal crises, Archie jigs and jabbers before his ever-diminishing audience, but by the end of the film he isn’t even entertaining himself.
SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING (Sábado noche, domingo mañana), by Karel Reisz (United Kingdom)
In the industrial streets and factories of Nottingham, Arthur Seaton spends his days at the factory bench, his evenings in the local pubs and his nights in the arms of Brenda, the wife of a fellow factory worker. Irresistibly handsome and brimming with animal vitality, Arthur is anti-authority and unashamedly amoral. When his affairs catch up with him, Arthur has to face up to the prospect of parenthood and marriage, though not necessarily with the same woman.
A TASTE OF HONEY (Un sabor a miel), by Tony Richardson (United Kingdom)
Jo and her mother, Helen, live a transient life in the grey, bleak tenement houses of Manchester, continually moving in an attempt to stay one step ahead of angry landlords. Left by herself as her mother spends evenings away with her latest boyfriend, Jo meets Jimmy, a black sailor on shore leave, and starts a brief relationship which is abruptly ended when Jimmy skips town. As Helen moves in with her new husband, Jo sets out to lead an independent life and soon starts an unusual, loving relationship with a young, closeted homosexual named Geoffrey who is trying to escape problems of his own.
A KIND OF LOVING (Esa clase de amor), by John Schlesinger (United Kingdom)
Vic Brown is a draughtsman in a Lancashire factory who sleeps with a typist called Ingrid Rothwell who also works there. She falls for him but he is less enamoured of her. When he learns he has made her pregnant Vic proposes marriage and the couple move in with Ingrid’s protective, domineering mother, Mrs Rothwell, who disapproves of the match. Ingrid has a miscarriage, Vic has regrets and comes home drunk. The couple then consider the possibility of making do with ‘a kind of loving’.
THE L-SHAPED ROMM (La habitación en forma de L), by Bryan Forbes (United Kingdom)
Jane, a young pregnant French girl moves into a seedy boarding house in London for a new start. Beautiful and withdrawn, Jane slowly gets to know the other residents of the house who, like her, are social outsiders in their own way. As she falls into a relationship with Toby, a struggling young writer who lives on the first floor, and befriends Johnny, a black jazz musician, Jane finds a new reason to live.
THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER (La soledad del corredor de fondo), by Tony Richardson (United Kingdom)
Colin Smith is the oldest son of his large, nearly impoverished family, forced into the role of breadwinner after the early death of his father. Caught by the police after robbing a bakery, Colin is sent to Ruxton Towers borstal, where his athletic ability quickly marks him out as the governor’s golden boy. But his successful ‘rehabilitation’ looks uncertain as he struggles with the unfair treatment he receives and the expectations of conformity placed upon him.
BILLY LIAR (Billy, el embustero), by John Schlesinger (United Kingdom)
Running from an unsympathetic working-class family, a pair of demanding fiancées and an insecure job at an undertaker’s, Billy escapes into a world of fantasy where he can realize his dream ambitions. As work and family pressures build to new intolerable levels, Liz enters Billy’s drab life and offers him the one real chance he’ll ever get to leave the past behind.
THIS SPORTING LIFE (El ingenuo salvaje), by Lindsay Anderson (United Kingdom)
Frank Machin is a tough Rugby League player in Yorkshire. In a match an opponent punches him, breaking his front teeth. He is taken to a dentist by his team-mates and the club owner, Weaver. As he goes under the anaesthetic he remembers the events leading up to this moment. He is a miner, lodging with a grieving widow, Margaret Hammond. She rejects his friendly advances and treats him with disdain. At a dance hall he sees the rugby team being fêted and starts a fight with the captain. Outside he sees an old talent scout, Johnson, and begs him to get him a trial. As his career progresses, his brutal nature distances him from those around him. He and Mrs Hammond have a volatile relationship.
IF…, by Lindsay Anderson (United Kingdom)
Classes start again at a long-established private boarding school near London. The boarders unpack their stuff under the sly gaze of those in charge of discipline: ‘The Whips’. Mick Travis is reunited with his friends Johnny and Wallace, with whom he shares his contempt for traditions. The school seems to settle into routine: the chapel, the lessons… Fun? Biles is tied upside down and has his head flushed in the toilet pan while Mick listens to primitive music and writes his ‘philosophical creed’: «Violence and revolution are the only pure acts».