Film - Feature | November 15 | 4 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
As if to prove theres nothing new in New Wave, Laurence Harveys Joe Lampton is right up there with some of the great working-class social climbers of literature and filmStendhals Julian Sorel, Dreisers Clyde Griffiths (cum Montgomery Clifts George Eastman)adrift in an alien world of the moneyed. Joes past is a bomb site, literally and figuratively; the way he sees it, he has no place to go but up. Why stay angry when you can move to a factory town, catch the eye of the bosss daughter, better yet, marry the insipid girl? But class anger doesnt work that way, and Joes vulnerability allows him to be sidelined by love for Alice, a mature French woman married to a sadistic husband, making Room at the Top a showcase for Simone Signoret, and, famously, for sexual openness on screen. No one can look at the film today and see a social treatise. In fact, we suggest two handkerchiefs.
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