Room At The Top

1959

Directed By

Jack Clayton

Synopsis

Based on the best-selling novel by John Braine, Room At The Top was Jack Clayton’s debut feature and is widely regarded as the film that kickstarted the British New Wave.

Starring Laurence Harvey (Women of Twilight, The Silent Enemy), Simone Signoret (Les Diaboliques, Ship of Fools), Heather Sears (The Story of Esther Costello, The Phantom of the Opera) and Donald Wolfit (Lawrence of Arabia, Beckett), Room At The Top went on to become a major box-office success and paved the way for films that examined notions of class and sex more frankly than ever before. The film also gained widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning two: Best Actress (Signoret) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Paterson). At 2 minutes and 19 seconds, supporting actress Hermione Baddeley’s (Mary Poppins, Brighton Rock) performance is the shortest Oscar®-nominated performance in movie history.

In post-war industrial Yorkshire, Joe Lampton (Lawrence Harvey) aims to seduce the boss’s daughter as he attempts to climb the corporate ladder at work. But when his background holds him back, Joe seeks comfort with the unhappily married Alice (Simone Signoret), beginning an affair that will have devastating consequences. 

Featuring clear references to sex and adultery, it was a controversial script that eventually saw the film become one of the first mainstream releases to have an “X” certificate.

Cast
Simone Signoret, Laurence Harvey, Heather Sears, Donald Wolfit, Donald Houston, Hermione Baddeley, Delena Kidd, Allan Cuthbertson, Raymond Huntley, John Westbrook, Ambrosine Phillpotts, Mary Peach
Other Credits

Based on the novel by John Braine

Release Date
11 March 2024
extras
  • New Delena Kidd on Room at the Top
  • Extract from BEHP Audio interview with Sir John Woolf
  • Audio Commentary with Jo Botting
  • Audio Commentary with Neil Sinyard
  • Behind the Scenes stills Gallery
  • Trailer
Restoration Details

Room at the Top was restored in 2k by the BFI in 2019 for its 60th Anniversary

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