Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OLDIE GOLDIES: Room At The Top (1959)

Simone Signoret receives her Best Actress Oscar
This week's featured film is Jack Clayton's impressive debut feature "Room at the Top". This British film is about an ambitious working class man who schemes to wed a beautiful upper-class young girl, all while getting entangled in a love affair with an older woman. As you can probably tell, it has elements of kitschy melodrama but this smart screenplay keeps it grounded. The script has such a rare openness about sexuality, especially for a pre-1960 film. In addition to the writing, the highlight is the alluring performance of Simone Signoret as the older woman. She deservedly won Best Actress at the Oscars (in addition to an equally deserved Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay) and the film was also nominated for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director and Best Picture.

Classic Quote
"Joe, wasn't it absolutely the most wonderful wedding? Now we really belong to each other, till death us do part. Darling, you're crying! I believe you really are sentimental after all."

Classic Scene
The Opening

Classic Characters
Alice Aisgill (Simone Signoret)

Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey)

Elspeth (Hermione Baddeley)

Did you know?
Room at the Top is thought to be the first of the British New Wave of realistic film dramas.


  1. I love this movie to pieces, and both Harvey and Signoret were astonishingly good. I give my personal wins to both Monroe and Lemmon, but they are my runner-ups :-D

    1. Great review!

      We're linking to your article for Academy Monday at

      Keep up the good work!