Recommend to me British movies from the 60s and 70s about blokes & lads
October 27, 2014 10:57 PM   Subscribe

For whatever reason, I find the 60s and 70s British gent as the epitome of Cool.

For whatever reason, I find the 60s and 70s British gent as the epitome of Cool.
Michael Caine in Get Carter, Albert Finney in Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Malcolm McDowell in If... and O Lucky Man.
Hell, the other night we watched Hitchcock's Frenzy and even that had enough of the stereotype to sate me: the archetypal bloke that chain smokes, drinks brandy in the pub and goes to and bets At the track.
This is my dumb cultural affectation and I refuse to be ashamed of it. So what films should I check out that might be up my alley?
posted by Senor Cardgage to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Alfie. And perhaps Bedazzled? it's not exactly what you're after, but it's definitely a take on it.
posted by holgate at 11:00 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Maybe David Hemmings in Blow Up? I think Terence Stamp too but I can't think of any films off the top of my head that fits your criteria.
posted by cazoo at 11:21 PM on October 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Do you want kitchen sink dramas or is that not to your taste?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:26 PM on October 27, 2014

I think that I do. I love Sat Night Sunday Morning and that seems to be a pretty representative example of the genre.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:28 PM on October 27, 2014

All of these. And you can think of Finney's Tom Jones as swinging 60s film before its time...
posted by holgate at 11:30 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

The film version of the Sweeney (original NOT Ray Winstone)
posted by biffa at 11:37 PM on October 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Withnail and I might be your cup of tea.
posted by The_Auditor at 12:18 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Maybe School for Scoundrels
posted by rhizome at 12:42 AM on October 28, 2014

A Kind of Loving seems to fit the bill.
posted by essexjan at 12:59 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

And Charlie Bubbles, which is interesting in a lot of ways: written by Shelagh Delaney (whose A Taste of Honey was hugely influential, not least on Morrissey) and directed by Finney himself, it's part kitchen-sink, part experimental New Wave. It's also a reflection of how the prevailing theme in these films of aspiration constrained by class or social mores starts from gritty beginnings (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Kind of Loving, Billy Liar) opens up along the way, and then, arguably, grits up again as the 60s draw to a close.
posted by holgate at 1:23 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Saint?
posted by gingerest at 1:31 AM on October 28, 2014

Quadrophenia? Blokes, lads, music of The Who and a young Sting:"

"The film set in 1964, follows the story of Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels), a London Mod. Disillusioned by his parents and a job as a post room boy in an advertising firm, Jimmy finds an outlet for his teenage angst with his Mod friends Dave (Mark Wingett), Chalky (Philip Davis) and Spider (Gary Shail). One of the Mods' rivals, the Rockers, is in fact Jimmy's childhood friend, Kevin (Ray Winstone). An assault by aggressive Rockers on Spider leads to a serious attack on Kevin. Jimmy participates in the assault, but when he realises the victim is Kevin, he doesn't help him, instead driving away on his scooter."
posted by kinetic at 3:06 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Hardly a lad but Sean Connery's James Bond was once the coolest guy on the planet. For specific films, "This Sporting Life" and many of the other films on this page.
posted by epo at 4:10 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Go nuts, watch Performance.

A modern film The Bank Job, based on real events in 1971, really has some of that 60's vibe.

Now this is a bit left-field but I saw the film just last week. It's extremely atypical of the genre, but it shares some of the attributes, ie there's a background context of social change, youth culture, aspiration to modernity, ideal of cool etc. To Sir With Love (1967) stars Sidney Poitier as a new West Indian teacher in a tough London inner-city school.

A novice teacher faces a class of rowdy, undisciplined working-class punks in this classic film that reflected some of the problems and fears of teens in the 60s. Sidney Poitier gives one of his finest performances as Mark Thackeray, an out-of-work engineer who turns to teaching in London's tough East End. The graduating class... sets out to destroy Thackeray as they did his predecessor by breaking his spirit. But Thackeray, no stranger to hostility, meets the challenge by treating the students as young adults who will soon enter a work force where they must stand or fall on their own.

Bonus, Lulu's in it, singing. The film is based on the semi-autobiographical book by E R Braithwaite. I've just been reading reviews and in general American critics found it unbelievable and trite. But I've taught classes of similar young people and I don't find it unbelievable at all! It's quite a gentle, modest film with, to me, an interestingly different take on that idea of 60's cool.
posted by glasseyes at 4:16 AM on October 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I don't know if you might like Life at the Top. I remember it as a depressing film.

Here, have a look at this article about British New Wave.
posted by glasseyes at 4:26 AM on October 28, 2014

Not a movie, but the original UK "Life on Mars" would probably suit you.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:37 AM on October 28, 2014 [3 favorites]

Billy Liar - terrible trailer, good movie.
posted by h00py at 5:43 AM on October 28, 2014

The original "Italian Job" has Cain play Charlie Croker a slick criminal. A bit more of a comedy romp than a "cool" piece of cinema.
posted by jade east at 6:37 AM on October 28, 2014

These are all later than what you specify, yet I think they might have at least some of what you're looking for:

The original/UK House of Cards (1990)
GBH (1991)
Shameless (2000s+)
This is England (2000s) -- Film and three mini-series, set in the 1980s
posted by Drexen at 8:17 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Two TV mystery series scratch this itch for me-- Inspector George Gently and Endeavour. Both recently made but throwing back to that era.
posted by travertina at 8:30 AM on October 28, 2014

Georgy Girl mostly features Lynn Redgrave, but a young and dashing Alan Bates is pretty great.
posted by brookeb at 8:41 AM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Knack... and How to Get It may be what you are looking for.
posted by beatnik808 at 9:50 AM on October 28, 2014

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)
posted by charlen at 11:18 AM on October 28, 2014

More Caine, but a bit more subtle: The Ipcress File.
posted by marcin_zissou at 12:48 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

James Fox is a Londoner, and a gent. And he's cool. Mick Jagger is a Londoner, but a different sort of gent. But he's cool, too: Performance (filmed in 1968, finally released in 1970).
posted by Mister Bijou at 2:16 PM on October 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

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