Saturday Night And Sunday Morning – The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

Arguably the two most powerful kitchen-sink dramas of the early '60s were both adapted from the works of author Alan Sillitoe. Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (1960), directed by Karel Reisz, provided British cinema with an equivalent to Brando thanks to Albert Finney's electrifying performance as marriage-wrecking factory-hand Arthur Seaton ("I'm a fighting pit-prop of a man who wants a pint of beer, that's me!"). But Finney perhaps lacked the surly sophistication of borstal boy Tom Courtenay in Tony Richardson's later The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner (1962).

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Arguably the two most powerful kitchen-sink dramas of the early ’60s were both adapted from the works of author Alan Sillitoe. Saturday Night And Sunday Morning (1960), directed by Karel Reisz, provided British cinema with an equivalent to Brando thanks to Albert Finney’s electrifying performance as marriage-wrecking factory-hand Arthur Seaton (“I’m a fighting pit-prop of a man who wants a pint of beer, that’s me!”). But Finney perhaps lacked the surly sophistication of borstal boy Tom Courtenay in Tony Richardson’s later The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner (1962). Scripted by Sillitoe from his own short story, where Reisz’s film looks antiquated in plot and pace, Richardson’s seems fresh and emotively ferocious in its attack on the English class system at that time. Courtenay’s is a more empathetic and complicated anti-hero than Finney’s, and undoubtedly Runner flexes its working-class wrath that bit louder, though neither of these films should be missed.

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