Rent Spring and Port Wine (1970)

3.7 of 5 from 76 ratings
1h 37min
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Spring and Port Wine is a poignant, authentic and hilarious depiction of working class life in the north of England during the late sixties. One of the last great, British kitchen sink dramas it tells the story of Rafe Crompton, a stern, strict and deeply religious father with an extremely domineering control over his meek wife and four children. When one of his daughters refuses to eat her herring one teatime, her actions ignite a family dispute as two very different generations come into conflict.
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Bill Naughton
British Films, Drama
Release Date:
Run Time:
97 minutes
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1

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Reviews (1) of Spring and Port Wine

Guard that Herring! - Spring and Port Wine review by CH

Spoiler Alert

That phrase could sound like an order given by one of the Marx Brothers or Basil Fawlty - but in fact it marks a pivotal moment in this drama set in 1969 Bolton, adapted by Bill Naughton from his stage play. Much of this takes place around a dinner table over which presides the strict, God-fearing James Mason, whose wife (Diana Coupland) is caught between him and the looser spirits of their four children. Among these is Susan George, whose short skirt and long legs are redolent of a changing world outside a small terraced house which, a few years earlier, would have been filmed in shadowy black and white but comes across equally well in bleached colour.

Throughout, with salty remarks along the way (we learn of a fine coat "that'll keep your knees and other bits warm"), one is kept in suspense: will all this take a tragic turn (there is a moment when one even fears for the cat). Watch it and keep guessing. Of course it is now a period piece in some ways - mini-skirts and Mini vans, as well as, of all things, a bright-yellow Land Rover involved in a notably passionate smash - but the film also turns upon eternal insecurities (and reveals that bowls games can conceal some gambling).

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