A key film of the British New Wave, "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" was a great box-office success - audiences were thrilled by its anti-establishment energy, the gritty realism of its setting, and most of all by a working-class hero of a fresh and outspoken kind. Based on Alan Sillitoe's largely autobiographical novel, the film is set in the grim industrial streets and factories of Nottingham, where Arthur Seaton spends his days at a factory bench, his Saturday evenings in the local pubs, and his Saturday nights with Brenda (Rachel Roberts), wife of a fellow factory worker. Played by Albert Finney with an irresistible animal vitality, Arthur is anti-authority ("Don't let the bastards grind you down") and unashamedly amoral ("What I'm out for is a good time. All the rest is propaganda"). With powerful central performances, crackling dialogue by Sillitoe and a superb jazz score by Johnny Dankworth, the film stands as a vibrant modern classic.
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