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Film / Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

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Just going to kick one more bitch.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a 1960 film by Karel Reisz, one of the first in the British New Wave/Kitchen Sink Drama movement. Its main character is Arthur Seaton, a blue-collar worker who is very successful at work and he always eager to have rough fun during the week-end. He drinks and carries on an affair with a wife of his colleague from work. Then he sees a girl who is prettier than anyone he met before.

This film is acclaimed for having tackled the issues of extramarital sex and abortion in a relatively realistic manner.



  • The '50s: England has overcome the WWII and the welfare steadily increases.
  • Arch-Enemy: Mrs Bull for Arthur. Until the third act. Arthur's commeuppance does not come from her.
  • Anti-Hero: A mild example. Arthur is hard-working and brave. However he is not averse to deception and several times kicks various dogs. Luckily he is a complicated character.
  • Beta Couple: A very typical example are Bert, the cousin of Arthur, and Betty, a friend of Doreen. Bert's appearance is one of an everyman compared to Arthur's, Betty is pudgy, with pudgy face. Their romance is later dropped. Even in the penultimate scene when Arthur talks with Bert as they are fishing the conversation relovles around Arthur. The plotline of the beta couple is not mentioned at all.
  • Blatant Lies: Arthur hits Mrs Bull with a pneumatic rifle from the window. Later when she comes to his apartment he threatens her with the same gun. Later still when she returns with a policeman he denies having any rifle at home. The policeman tells both sides not to cause any trouble and departs. Interestingly after that Mrs Bull who was the nemesis of the main character disappears from the film.
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  • Commitment Issues: Invoked by Arthur but he overcomes them fairly easily so they appear more a self-informed thing. Doreen generally leads him wherever she wants. Of course she is very pretty for his working neighbourhood.
  • I Have This Friend...: That's what Arthur tells Aunt Ada when he is about to ask her to abort a child of Brenda. Of course she does not believe that it is his friend not him from whom that woman conceived.
  • Kick the Dog: Several moments of this from Arthur.
    • He incidentally spills the beer on a man. When a woman reprimands him he pours the bear on her intentionally.
    • Once he puts a dead rat on the workbench of a female worker.
    • His relationship with Mrs Bull is antagonistic and he kicks her several time.
  • Let's Wait a While: Doreen invokes this to Arthur. Indeed they wait. A while. Later they still have sex before the wedding however it is implied that Arthur does not want to seek anyone else as Doreen with her fine features is by far the prettiest girl he ever met.
  • Made of Iron: Zigzagged as first Arthur is nearly unharmed as he falls of a stair. Later he has to remain in bed after being beaten up by two soldiers.
  • Meaningful Name: Probably for Mrs Bull who is angry and obstinate.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Zigzagged as various characters mention how in the past they lived better or worse than now in late 50's. Mostly they believe their living conditions have improved but some also have a good word for the past.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: For Doreen and Arthur who go away towards the houses one of which might one day become their own.
  • Oop North: The film was shot in Leeds.
  • Pet the Dog: Once Arthur and his cousin, Bert, pass near a man who suddenly throws a stone at a shop-window. He is promptly detained by two women from the neighbourhood including Mrs Bull whom Arthur hates. The man tells that he is aggrieved by the death of his wife three months ago. Arthur tries to make the women let him go partly out of pity, partly to spite his detested neighbour. The police arrives exactly when he succeeds to tear the man out of the hands of women.
  • Pop Culture Osmosis: It is famous to some extent due to Arctic Monkeys and Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.
  • Red Scare: Interestingly this trope appears here though without much consequence. The boss of Arthur is aware that someone among his workers is a communist and he suspects that it is Arthur. It is implied that a culprit will face grave consequences. Arthur flatly denies any adherence to leftist ideas. However, the bosses' intuition is correct. Arthur immediately confesses to Jack that he indeed voted for the communists on the latest election. This seems odd coming from him, as he is generally self-interested, materialistic and keen on pleasure and fun, however, he did it on a fit of class consciousness. It does not lead anywhere though. It is not even used by Jack against him later as he learns that Arthur was carrying it on with his wife.
  • Staircase Tumble: Arthur experiences it once and is not very much hurt.
  • Your Cheating Heart: For Brenda who has an affair with her husband's younger fellow worker.
  • Working-Class Hero: Arthur is of course an Anti-Hero.

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