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Room at the Top

Screening on Film
Directed by Jack Clayton.
With Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears.
UK, 1959, 35mm, color, 117 min.

K is for Kitchen Sink

Laurence Harvey stars as a lowly accountant determined to transcend his modest background and achieve success. He begins dating his boss’s daughter as a means to climb the corporate ladder, all the while carrying on a secret affair with a married woman. Despite warnings from family and friends who urge him to stick to his working-class roots, he continues his opportunistic pursuits to their fateful resolutions. Set amidst the dreary blight of Northern England, the film’s acclaimed sexual candor seems relatively tame by today’s standards. Nevertheless, Room at the Top remains a powerful document of British social realism and an exemplar of the genre known as "kitchen sink" for its portrayal of working-class realities. Simone Signoret’s moving performance as Lampton’s doomed paramour won an Academy Award for Best Actress.

Part of program

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Cinema A–Z: Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive

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Jack Clayton, Between Innocence and Experience

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Devour the Land: Cinema, landscape, history.