A Taste of Honey

A Taste of Honey

NR

1961

100 minutes

Elfin newcomer Rita Tushingham irresistibly lights up the screen in A Taste of Honey, the truly ground-breaking slice of northern English realism from multi-award-winning director Tony Richardson. It won four BAFTAs and a Golden Globe, Tushingham adding the Most Promising Newcomer prize to the Best Actress trophy she picked up at the Cannes Film Festival—where her co-star Murray Melvin was also named Best Actor. Based on a smash-hit play staged when its author Shelagh Delaney was still a teen, this moving but frequently laugh-out-loud story of a teenage girl's awkward transition to womanhood shattered the rigid moulds of British cinema. In its time the film made explosive waves by confidently tackling subjects previously regarded as taboo, including inter-racial relationships, unmarried mothers, and (via Melvin's sensitive-but-tough Geoffrey) homosexuality. Richardson and cinematographer Walter Lassally, meanwhile, took the bold, unprecedented decision to shoot the whole thing in real locations around Salford and Manchester, capturing the kind of gritty ambience later to be celebrated in song by hardcore Delaney-enthusiast Morrissey.

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