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- The Cry of the Children (1912) is about rich businessmen exploiting dirt-poor factory workers, and specifically about the horrors of child labor.
- Love on the Dole, based on the novel of the same name by Walter Greenwood. It's set during the 1930s in Sheffield, beginning with the General Strike in 1926 and covering one family who gets pulled apart by mass unemployment. The book and the film were met with critical acclaim, moving people by the shocking depiction of poverty.
- Marty, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1955, is a simple story about a butcher who falls in love with a schoolteacher, and his mother who is worried that Marty will abandon her.
- The movies of Ken Loach tend to be of this type.
- This Is England revolves around a group of young skinheads in early 1980s England basically trying to figure out where they fit in the world.
- Many of Jimmy McGovern's films.
- The 1980 Soviet film Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, about a working-class girl struggling to make it in the capital.
- The American play and resulting film The Subject Was Roses.
- Min and Bill is about working-class people who live by the docks, and particularly about an old lady innkeeper raising a Doorstop Baby.
- The Blot is about a professor and his poor family struggling to get by on the sub-poverty wages paid to university professors. Almost literally a kitchen sink drama, actually, as several scenes show Mrs. Griggs struggling to make tea for visitors or dinner for her hungry daughter while Mrs. Olson, the rich neighbor, prepares rich dinners.
- Killer of Sheep is a bleak portrait of life amongst the urban poor in the Watts ghetto of Los Angeles in the late 1970s.
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles takes this to the extreme, as the whole of this 3 1/2 hour movie is Jeanne performing her mundane home tasks over three days. She makes dinners—potatoes are peeled and veal is breaded in excruciating detail. She brews coffee. She shines her son's shoes. She washes the dishes in the actual kitchen sink. She knits. She shops for groceries. She receives visitors who pay her for sex.
- The films of the "Apu Trilogy", especially the first and second (Pather Panchali and Aparajito), show an Indian family in a backwater village desperately trying to raise themselves out of poverty.
- Kes merges this with Coming-of-Age Story - dealing with a Yorkshire teenager whose only solace in the world is taking care of a kestrel from a nest on a nearby farm.
- Educating Rita deconstructs this, or else the bleakness present in some of the imitators. The protagonist is a Liverpool hairdresser who feels stuck in her life - her family and husband pressuring her to start having children. She seeks to better herself by getting an education. While the play has a bit of a Downer Ending - Rita being too sophisticated to fit in with her old friends, and yet still too working class to fit in with the high society people - the film is more hopeful where she ends the film with more opportunities than she did before.
- Bad Girl is about a young married couple in 1931 New York trying to get by in The Great Depression and worried about providing for the baby on the way.
- British soap opera Coronation Street was a proto-example of this; it was one of the first shows that really looked at what life was like for the working class in Britain. In fact, most if not all British Soap Operas started out using elements of this trope, especially the cast of working-class everyman archetypes and occasionally some quite pointed social commentary. This caused a certain amount of confusion when Dallas turned up in syndication.
- Nearly everything ever written by Jack Rosenthal, who got his start writing for the aforementioned Coronation Street, though he also expanded it into the "aspirational" lower-middle classes of Stepford Suburbia.
- Paul Abbott's Shameless, which is semi-autobiographical, plays the trope for Black Comedy instead of Wangst.
- An earlier example from Paul Abbott is Clocking Off.
- Steptoe and Son was an example of this in sitcom form; it was one of the first television sitcoms to take the comedy out of upper / middle class drawing rooms and into a poor working class environment.
- Its American clone, Sanford and Son, tries to do much the same thing, with the added twist that the poor, working-class people are mostly black (oh, boy, class and race in one sitcom!).
- Some Monty Python's Flying Circus sketches invert or subvert this trope:
- The Four Yorkshiremen sketch featured four stereotypical men from Oop North competing with increasingly outrageous stories of childhood deprivation.
- Another sketch had a pure inversion; the well-dressed, soft-spoken son comes home to his family with his rough-talking, clearly working class father... Only to reveal that the father is a theatre playwright living in the centre of London and the son has become a coal miner in Yorkshire. The whole sketch is like an inversed Cliché Storm Kitchen Sink Drama: Instead of having damp-lung and being overworked at the factory, the father has writer's cramp and is stressed out over press interviews, the father doesn't comprehend what the bloody hell a "tungsten carbide drill" is, and so on.
Father: Hampstead wasn't good enough for you, was it? You had to go poncing off to Barnsley! You and your coal-mining friends!
Son: One day you'll learn there's more to life than culture; there's dirt! And mud! And good honest sweat!
Father: Get out! You labourer!
- Naturally, as he's a playwright, he immediately lampshades the developments of the sketch as "I think there's a play in here".
- The UK TV series Brass parodies this and a whole related bunch of tropes — or rather, parodies the genre of "Grim Oop North" kitchen sink dramas.
- There is a whole group of Swedish authors known collectively as "proletarian authors" (or "worker authors") from the early-mid 20th century that deals with this kind of material. Authors include Harry Martinsson, Eyvind Jonsson, Vilhelm Moberg and Ivar-Lo Johansson.
- From Russia, we have Maxim Gorky.
- From Norway: Oskar Braaten, Alf Prøysen, Ingeborg Refling Hagen and Kristoffer Uppdal.
- In America, whilst his works preceded the British movement, John Steinbeck's works often cover similar ground.
- From Finland, V??nna.