Working-Class Movies?

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Working-Class Movies?

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Feb. 1, 2008, 4:12pm

Have any favorite working-class movies? I'm kind of partial to "Norma Rae," which has become an old movie, I fear, and to an ancient movie: Preston Sturgess's "Sullivan's Travels," in which a Hollywood-type decides to find out how the other half lives and gets more than he bargained for.

Feb. 2, 2008, 4:28am

For a British context, check out Mike Leigh's often overlooked Meantime.

Feb. 2, 2008, 10:58am

Matewan by John Sales. Loosely based on a real strike.

Feb. 2, 2008, 1:51pm

Thanks! I've seen some of Mike Leigh's movies and liked them very much, but I missed Meantime. And I thought Matewan was great. There's a recent movie about the founding of Pullman Car Porters' union & A. Philip Randolph--I think it might be called 10,000 Black Men; I liked it.

Feb. 2, 2008, 7:33pm

10,000 Black Men named George, that was good. I saw it over the holiday break. It simplified things even more than Matewan did but the gist of it was correct.

Feb. 2, 2008, 7:39pm

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Billy Liar
This Sporting Life

for three!

Feb. 2, 2008, 8:04pm

Brassed Off is a great working class movie with the added bonus of a very good soundtrack. It shows how the miners strikes/pit closures effects a community through the eyes of the pit band members and their families and it manages to be both funny and sad.

Feb. 3, 2008, 1:01pm

Meantime is a word-of-mouth movie because it had some distribution problems. The language is sometimes tough to follow if you're not a Brit, but it's worth the effort. It also has a very young Tim Roth playing a retarded character, one of few examples of a good and complicated depiction of a retarded person and family dynamics. It avoids being too sentimental and nicey-nice while also avoiding being miserablist and exploitive.

Feb. 4, 2008, 12:20am

Oh, my, I had no idea Tim Roth was in Meantime. I did okay with the language in other of Leigh's movies, even though English is a second language for Americans. :-) Thanks for the info.

Feb. 4, 2008, 5:41am

According to Amazon reviews, the sound in the DVD release got screwed up, which is a shame. I watch (and rewatch) it on an old VHS cassette. If you're interested in the film, you'll probably want to avoid the DVD.

Feb. 4, 2008, 6:57am

>6 abbottthomas:
You forgot Kes and A Taste of Honey :-)

Feb. 4, 2008, 7:12am


If it's not one of those you've seen, Naked is IMO Mike Leigh's best film, with a stunning performance by David Thewliss.

There's whole sub-genre of 1960s British 'kitchen-sink' films; in addition to those listed in #6 and #11, there's films based on Up the Junction and The L-Shaped Room. They're all a bit grim and gloomy though!

Mrz. 31, 2008, 5:07am

For a bit of light relief, the films based on Roddy Doyle's Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments, The Snapper, The Van.

From Australia, Sunday Too Far Away, set on a sheep station and starring Jack Thompson as the gun shearer.

Mrz. 31, 2008, 4:29pm

I really enjoyed "The Snapper."