Newest Reviews
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
No Man of God
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Quiet Place Part II, A
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
  Family Way, The Love And Marriage
Year: 1966
Director: Roy Boulting
Stars: Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, John Mills, Marjorie Rhodes, Avril Angers, John Comer, Murray Head, Barry Foster, Wilfred Pickles, Liz Fraser, Andy Bradford, Diana Coupland, Thorley Walters, Margaret Lacey, Helen Booth, Harry Locke, Windsor Davies
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the day of the wedding between Jenny Piper (Hayley Mills) and Arthur Fitton (Hywel Bennett), but they will have to move in with Arthur's parents - Ezra (John Mills) and Lucy (Marjorie Rhodes) - because they cannot afford a place of their own. The couple are none too bothered about seeing each other the morning before the big event, even though others think it's bad luck, but those superstitious minds may well be right, and it doesn't help that Arthur drops the ring at the altar during the ceremony. So what does the problem turn out to be? How about the groom unwilling to consummate the marriage?

The Family Way was Hayley Mills' first proper adult role, a big deal at the time although the film has been forgotten in recent years, which is a pity because it turns out to be really rather marvellous. It was based on a television play called All in Good Time by Bill Naughton, and when the big screen version was released it was fashionable to say that it had been better as the more compact small screen rendering, but with a longer running time the esteemed filmmaking team of the Boulting Brothers offered the characters more room to breathe.

Which was ironic when you consider that the two central characters are feeling so stifled by the society around them, suffocated even. The pressure that Arthur and Jenny are under makes itself plain before their union has begun, and when, on the wedding night, a prank sees the bed collapse and Arthur left humiliated, this is the beginning of a brick wall being built up between the two. It's not that they don't love each other, it's more like they cannot go ahead with what is supposed to come naturally when they feel the eyes of the community are on them, and the fact that they're in a house with paper thin walls through which they can hear Ezra snoring at night is not helping.

To make matters worse, the honeymoon they had planned to the Continent has been cancelled when the company setting it up for them is revealed to be a fraud, so they cannot get any time alone. There are five of them under one roof, with Arthur's brother Geoffrey (Murray Head) there too, and the longer the marriage goes on the way it does, the more he is attracted to his sister-in-law, especially when Arthur's projectionist job means his evenings are not free. All through this the cast are exemplary, whether it's the more antagonistic personalities such as Arthur's boss (Barry Foster) or the larger roles such as the parents.

Although this could have been the subject of sniggering sex comedy, the approach the filmmakers take is actually immensely sympathetic, and you really feel for the newlyweds as they suffer in silence and confusion. Of course, word begins to get round about their marital mishap, and this does them no good whatsoever, but even this gossip is not maliciously handled though it severely embarrasses the couple. The Family Way is an undeniably sentimental film, but it covers up its tearjerking moments with Northern English grit and some fine humour, nowhere better portrayed than in the relationship between the goodhearted but obtuse Ezra and the longsuffering yet wise Lucy - John Mills and Marjorie Rhodes are quite brilliant here. All in all, a charmer from start to finish, and with music by Paul McCartney which justifiably helped raise its profile.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 4337 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: