Poor Cow (ICO R/I)
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- South East
- Northern Ireland
- South West
Terence Stamp, Carol White, John Bindon
Poor Cow – Ken Loach’s first feature film and a landmark in British social realist filmmaking – is now available in a new digital restoration.
This snapshot of ’60s London stars Carol White (Up the Junction, Cathy Come Home) as young mother Joy.
Beautiful, free-spirited and resilient, Joy is nevertheless struggling to cope while her brutal, uncaring husband (John Bindon) is in jail. Clutching at any slight chance of happiness, she falls for his associate, Dave (Terence Stamp) – but with heart-breaking results. Loach depicts Joy’s world with typical care, showing how her plight derives from a set of social circumstances largely outside her control.
Full of ’60s colour and music – including the music of Donovan – it’s also stylistically innovative, with an improvised spontaneity and Joy providing first-person narration over the soundtrack.
It all serves to create a slightly distanced, ironic tone – offset by the film’s tender compassion for, and thoughtful involvement in, its subject.
Read our Director Catharine Des Forges on Loach’s ‘distinctive, beautiful, assured’ star Carol White in Sight & Sound.