Television Personalities
King & Country | Girl on a Motorcycle | A Taste of Honey | La Grand Illusion | Cathy Come Home | If... | Privilege

Smashing Time (1967)
Smashing Time A satire on the London of the Swinging Sixties, and arguably the ultimate British Mod picture (the film was advertised with the line, 'Two girls go stark mod!'). Two northern girls, Yvonne (Lynn Redgrave) and Brenda (Rita Tushingham), go to London seeking fame and fortune. With the help of a scene-making photographer (Michael York), the girls experience many escapades in a city which is most definitely swinging on a Carnaby Street / Mod axis. In a dig at the manufactured pop scene, Yvonne is picked up by a talent spotter who promises to make her a star. She records a terrible song which is improved through studio trickery. Needless to say, it is a huge hit. Meanwhile, Brenda becomes a top model. At the end of the film, the pair decide to return home, realising just how superficial the lifestyle is.

Director Desmond Davis had earlier worked with Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave on the 1964 film Girl With Green Eyes, which was scripted by Edna O'Brien. Tushingham and York were reunited two years later in The Guru. Back

King And Country (1964)
King and Country Joseph Losey's anti-war film, set in the filth and decay of the trenches of Passchendaele during the First World War.
It is 1917. Private Hemp (played by Tom Courtenay) is charged with desertion from the British Army. Captain Hargreaves (Dirk Bogarde) is the officer assigned to defend him at the court-martial trial.

Pictured: Director Losey (right) discusses a point with Tom Courtney (left) and Dirk Bogarde (centre).


Girl On A Motorcycle (1968)
Girl on a motorcycle Based on the Andre Pieyre De Mandiargue's novel La Motocyclette and directed by Jack Cardiff, the Anglo-French Girl On A Motorcycle stars Marianne Faithful as the newlywed Rebecca, a bored wife who slips away from her sleeping husband one night, gets into her skin tight motorcycling leathers and drives off on her Harley Davidson to meet her lover Daniel (Alain Delon) for some typically Sixties psychedelic experiences. The American title for this film was Naked Under Leather, which should give an indication of the gratuitously voyeuristic sex scenes.


A Taste Of Honey (1961)
A Taste of Honey Shelagh Delaney's play tells the tale of a young girl who becomes pregnant after an affair with a black sailor. She decides to keep the baby, and moves in with a young gay man, Geoffrey Ingram, much to the disapproval of her mother. The film version of the play, directed by Tony Richardson, saw the gamine Rita Tushingham make her striking screen debut in the role of Jo, with Murray Melvin playing Geoffrey. The film addressed such controversial themes (for the times) of unmarried mothers, race and homosexuality. A sample of dialogue appears in the song 'Me And My Big Ideas'. Note that the film is also a favourite of Morrissey, who incorporated several sections of dialogue into his lyrics while in the Smiths (see especially Reel Around the Fountain and This Night Has Opened My Eyes). Back

Pictured: Jo (Rita Tushingham) and Geoffrey (Murray Melvin).

La Grand Illusion (1937)
La Grand Illusion Jean Renoir's classic anti-war film, set in a prisoner-of-war camp during the First World War. The film focuses on the futility of war, and the small acts of kindness which reveal man's humanity despite the madness and carnage all around him. This archetypal prison camp escape story also contains barbed social analysis. The German commandant and the senior French officer share aristocratic backgrounds and military professionalism, which forges a bond of sympathy. In a key scene, the French officer sacrifices his life in order to allow two prisoners to escape. Although this act make them wartime heroes, in peacetime these men will be reviled for being both working class and Jewish. Back

Cathy Come Home (1965)
Cathy Come Home Cathy Come Home was director Ken Loach's ground-breaking television play, first screened in November 1966. It brought new depths of realism to TV drama, highlighting the housing problems faced by young people. It stars Carol White and Ray Brooks as the unfortunate couple, who are shifted from one council accommodation to another, caught up in bureaucratic red-tape and sinking deeper and deeper into poverty until finally Cathy has to endure her children being taken away from her. Carol White's own children were used in these roles. The scene was especially harrowing because they were deliberately not told that it was only an act! The play's influence had a direct result in the formation of the charity for the homeless, Shelter, and in due course, legislative reform. The film is alluded to in 'The Engine Driver Song' on the 'Privilege' album. Back

Note that Brooks had earlier appeared alongside Rita Tushingham in the 1965 film The Knack, directed by Richard Lester who is best known for his work with the Beatles.

If... (1968)
If... Directed by Lindsay Anderson from a David Sherwin screenplay, If... was the first instalment in the trilogy of films that follow the adventures of Mick Travis, played by Malcolm McDowell. O Lucky Man (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982) were to follow. Set in an English Public school, If... is a parable on rebellion. The school represents English society, with its archaic, meaningless customs. The authoritarian rule of the prefects and the pseudo-progressive headmaster figure are symbols of the Establishment. Dissent is provided by a group of three students (led by McDowell), who rebel against the system. Released in a year which saw actual insurrection on the streets of European cities, it is apt that the film ends with an armed uprising, in which the trio set about shooting teachers and fellow students from the roof of a school building.

If... is clearly one of Dan Treacy's 'favourite films' and one whose influence can be found in a number of songs. The quote, 'paradise is for the blessed not for the sex-obsessed' provided the title for a song on the 'Privilege' album. The quote also appears on the sleeve of 'And Don't the Kids Just Love It', while the song 'Not Even A Maybe' includes both this line in the lyrics and dialogue from the film itself. The quote, 'War is the last possible creative act' features in the songs 'Back To Vietnam' and 'Not Even A Maybe', in addition to appearing on the sleeve of the 'And Don't the Kids Just Love It' LP. The line, 'a bullet in the right place could change the world' from 'Not Even A Maybe' paraphrases a line from the film. The sound clip itself also appears in that song, along with others. Note also that the album sleeve of 'And Don't the Kids Just Love It' boasts the line, 'Jolly, Jolly, Good Stephans', which is also dialogue from the film. Back

Privilege (1967)
Privilege Privilege is a satirical film from 1967. A pop singer, played by ex-Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones, is coerced by Church and State (the Establishment) to use his popularity and influence to manipulate his fans into supporting the Government's policies. Sixties supermodel / icon Jean Shrimpton (in her only major film role) plays Jones' disillusioned girlfriend, who finally convinces him to rebel against the forces controlling their lives.

It is debatable to what degree the 'Privilege' film has influenced Dan Treacy's lyrics, but nevertheless, the film is worth documenting for reference purposes.

Pictured: The sleeve of the 'Privilege' EP by Paul Jones, featuring a still from the film. The EP track 'Free Me' was later covered by Patti Smith.

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