A Kind of Loving
Directed byJohn Schlesinger
Written byKeith Waterhouse
Willis Hall
Based onA Kind of Loving
by Stan Barstow
Produced byJoseph Janni
StarringAlan Bates
June Ritchie
Thora Hird
CinematographyDenys Coop
Edited byRoger Cherrill
Music byRon Grainer
Vic Films Productions
Waterhall Productions
Distributed byAnglo-Amalgamated
Release dates
  • 12 April 1962 (1962-04-12) (UK)
  • 1 October 1962 (1962-10-01) (U.S.)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£155,590[1][2][3] or $750,000[4]
Box office£450,000 (UK)[2]

A Kind of Loving is a 1962 British kitchen sink[5] drama film directed by John Schlesinger, starring Alan Bates and June Ritchie.[6] It is based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Stan Barstow which was later adapted into the 1982 television series A Kind of Loving.[7] The film tells the story of two lovers in early 1960s Lancashire. It belongs to the British New Wave movement.[citation needed]


Victor 'Vic' Brown is a draughtsman in a Manchester factory who sleeps with typist Ingrid Rothwell who also works there. She falls for him but he is less enamoured of her. When he learns he has made her pregnant Vic proposes marriage and the couple move in with Ingrid's protective, domineering mother who disapproves of the match. Ingrid has a miscarriage, Vic has regrets and comes home drunk. The couple then consider the possibility of making do with "a kind of loving".



The film was shot at Shepperton Studios,[6] and on location in the northwest of England in Bolton, Blackburn, Manchester, Preston, Radcliffe, Salford and St Anne's-on-Sea.[8] Photography was by Denys Coop, and music by Ron Grainer.[6]


Box office

It was the sixth most popular film at the British box office in 1962.[9] According to Kinematograph Weekly the film was considered a "money maker" at the British box office in 1962.[10]

Critical reception

Leslie Halliwell opined: "Blunt melodrama with strong kinship to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning [1960], strikingly directed and photographed amid urban grime and suburban conformity."[11]

The Radio Times Guide to Films gave the film 4/5 stars, writing: "Unlike the majority of other 'grim up North' dramas that found critical favour during the social realist or kitchen sink phase of British film-making, John Schlesinger's debut feature is about making the most of life rather than carping on about the colour of the grass on the other side of the fence. Crisply adapted by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, the film is like a scrapbook of typical human experience, with Schlesinger's eye for detail and his persuasive storytelling style creating characters who could have lived next door to you. Alan Bates and June Ritchie are excellent, but Thora Hird is exceptional."[12]

Michael Brooke wrote in Sight and Sound:[13]

John Schlesinger's feature debut came comparatively late in the angry-young-men/kitchen-sink cycle, but it wears its 54 years rather better than many of its contemporaries, not least because some of its social concerns are just as pervasive today — in particular the impossibility of obtaining decent housing even when both halves of a married couple are in steady employment. The couple in question are Vic Brown (Alan Bates) and Ingrid Rothwell (June Ritchie), not an ideal match on any level other than the basest, but forced to marry after she shyly confesses, in what by 1962 standards was extreme sexual explicitness, that "Something that should have happened hasn't: it's been 15 days." When they are forced — by penury and Ingrid's unrealistic domestic ambitions — to move into her mother's fussily maintained semi, it's clear from the moment that Thora Hird first wrinkles her nose at her new son-in-law that things aren't going to go well. But if the narrative runs along decidedly familiar lines, former (and then very recent) documentarist Schlesinger gives the film immense lasting value in its pitch-perfect presentation of the fine detail of northern working-class life — the football, the pubs, the brass-band concerts, the 'mucky books', the works dos with their fake bonhomie, and above all the finely calibrated snobbery. Despite having a skilled job himself, Vic is happy to chat to the window cleaner as an equal, but the latter is then dressed down by Mrs Rothwell, who firmly believes that certain people should know their place. Hird is magnificent in a part that could easily have slipped into crude caricature, and Bates is even better. As with his New Wave predecessors Jimmy Porter and Arthur Seaton, Vic's own character flaws could hardly be more obvious, yet his lonely nocturnal sojourn in the railway station is so laceratingly soul-baring that it would melt even the flintiest heart.


The film won the Golden Bear award at the 12th Berlin International Film Festival in 1962.[14]


  1. ^ Sarah Street (2014) Film Finances and the British New Wave, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 34:1, 23-42 p26, DOI: 10.1080/01439685.2014.879000
  2. ^ a b Alexander Walker, Hollywood, England, Stein and Day, 1974 p120
  3. ^ Chapman, J. (2022). The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985. Edinburgh University Press p 360 gives the amount as £145,820
  4. ^ "Nat Cohen's Many Deal with Yanks". Variety. 31 January 1962. p. 4.
  5. ^ Murphy, Robert (1992). Sixties British Cinema. London: BFI Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 0-85170-309-7.
  6. ^ a b c "A Kind of Loving". British Film Institute Collections Search. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  7. ^ Vahimagi, Tise (1996). British Television: An Illustrated Guide (Compiled for the BFI) (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 277. ISBN 0198159269.
  8. ^ Keeling, Neal (17 June 2016). "Iconic film A Kind of Loving restored for Manchester 'premiere'". Manchester Evening News.
  9. ^ "Money-Making Films Of 1962." Times [London, England] 4 Jan. 1963: 4. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 July 2012.
  10. ^ Billings, Josh (13 December 1962). "Three British Films Head the General Releases". Kinematograph Weekly. p. 7. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  11. ^ Halliwell, Leslie (1989). Halliwell's Film Guide (7th ed.). London: Paladin. p. 558. ISBN 0-586-08894-6.
  12. ^ Radio Times Guide to Films (18th ed.). London: Immediate Media Company. 2017. p. 507. ISBN 9780992936440.
  13. ^ Brooke, Michael (September 2016). "A Kind of Loving". Sight and Sound. 26 (9): 99 – via ProQuest.
  14. ^ "Berlinale: Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 3 February 2010.