We celebrate Pride week at the Lumiere with this 1970 classic. Middle-aged Kath (Beryl Reid) comes across the handsome young Mr. Sloane (Peter McEnery) in a cemetery, and liking what she sees invites him to become her lodger. Her father, ‘The Dadda’ (Alan Kemp), is less impressed with this interloper, as he’s convinced he recognises Sloane as the murderer of his former employer.
Sloane isn’t the only one Dadda has issues with, as he hasn’t spoken to his son, Ed (Harry Andrews) for decades, ever since he caught him ‘committing a felony’ in his bedroom as a teenager. Ed initially thinks Kath’s made a mistake taking in a lodger – until he meets Sloane, that is. He’s immediately smitten and offers the lad employment, complete with tight leather driver’s uniform.
It seems like a good deal for Sloane, as he gets a free place to live and money in his pocket, as well as the competing affections of Kath and Ed. However, Sloane may still be a murderer, although if he is, he may not get the reaction he expects from Ed and Kath.
This 1970 movie version of Joe Orton’s 1964 play lives in a slightly odd place in that it manages to feel both quaint and edgy at the same time. It’s gleefully amoral attitude and sexual politics still have the ability to surprise and amuse, but the way it’s made places it firmly in the late 60s/early 70s. It revels in the swinging attitudes of the time and the sense that old ideas were in flux and a new, slightly anarchic world was on the horizon.