Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a classic social realist film of the British New Wave. Made in 1960, it was groundbreaking in both its portrayal of the industrial nightmare of working class factory life, and its unrepentant, cocky anti-hero Arthur Seaton. The British New Wave and La Nouvelle Vague
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960) was Karel Reisz's first feature film, made in the light of a number of outstanding documentaries from the Free Cinema movement. Interestingly, this film emerged at the same time as Jean-Luc Godard's debut feature A Bout De Souffle (Breathless). Reisz and Godard, the enfant terrible of the French New Wave, shared certain traits. Both were critics turned film-makers whose debut films were the first commercial hits of their respective new waves, and both films were anti-establishment pieces from directors with political agendas. The Angry Young Man
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was a film to which many people could relate. Alan Sillitoe, who adapted his book for the screen, was the creator of one of the original angry young men of cinema history, Arthur Seaton. Arthur is a working class anti-hero whose boredom of factory life is assuaged only by his reckless attitude to life. Trapped in a dead end job, Arthur represents the individual against the system. He makes the most of his leisure time in an attempt to escape the mediocrity of his life. Arthur is blunt and cocky, out for a good time with women, booze and a well cut suit. But he is angry about the restrictions placed on him by his working class life. The cause of this aggression - factory life - united a public who recognized his anger. Cinema attendances reflected the fact that this was one of the first times audiences felt their own lives were represented on screen. Fatally Flawed
At the beginning of the film...