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Room at the Top

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  • Room at the Top

    Watched this film recently when it was shown on talking pictures, hadn't seen it for a long time, so it was something fresh again.

    I didn't look up IMDB details until after I had seen it, I thought Joe looked too young to have been a P.O.W., until I saw the letter, which had 1947 as the date ! (set in 1947, but filmed in 1958, with what looked like 1958 appearances)

    Looking up the details on IMDB, it says when Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey) drives passed the Brown's house for the first time, it says the cars parked are 'obviously cardboard cutouts', after I watched it, I went through the whole film again, but didn't notice such a scene.

    Is anyone else aware of this scene, and how far in it is at all please ?

  • #2
    Many people must assume that this film is set in the year it was made, especially as it is seen as part of the "kitchen sink" canon. In fact, it is clearly stated that Joe Lampton is 25 years old, so if the film is set in 1958, he would have been 12 when the war ended, rather too young for the armed forces! The problems are greater with the sequel, Life at the Top, which is very clearly set in the year it was made (Lampton drives around in an S type Jaguar), but is supposed to be ten years after the first film (Joe and Susan's son is celebrating his tenth birthday). Well, if Joe were 35 in 1965, he would still have been too young to serve in WW2.
    A simple caption at the beginning of Room at the Top stating the year would have cleared up this confusion, but I suspect that the film makers wanted the story to seem more contemporary, without actually saying so. Incidentally, similar confusion applies to Brief Encounter which many people assume is set in the year it was made, when it is actually set pre-war, which is why you hear no reference to war or evidence of blackouts, rationing etc.


    • #3
      Yes, at first I thought Joe was referring to the Korean War (not immediately knowing it was 1947), when he says of being a POW, then the situation becomes clearer as the film progresses.


      • #4
        The best things about Room at the Top are Hermoine Baddeley and Simone Signoret.