The World Ten Times Over and understated lives
Realist or kitchen sink might well be phrases that could be used to describe it.
Essentially it’s the story of two good time girls (who don’t seem to be having a very good time), who work in a hostess/cabaret club, live together and variously have run ins with a respectable Shakespeare loving father and almost run away with a frustrated son-of-an-industrialist, marriage of convenience playboy like (again in an understated manner) boyfriend.
It’s quietly seedy and is slightly awkward about itself and in particular the possibly more salubrious aspects of the gals lives and profession (there’s a great, supposedly knowing/falsely flirtatious awkward and unnatural wink by Sylvia Syms to a gent who’s been reading the “professional model” cards in a shop window).
This is a frequent, obvious, if slightly odd marketing tool that seemed/seems to often be used on film posters, book covers etc; take an actually not all that prurient or salacious story and spice it up for general consumption in a “not really correctly labelled” manner.
I can only imagine the disapointment on certain gents’ faces when they popped into their local dream palace to enjoy some Soho sin and actually got to see this quite grey, melancholic film and it’s tale of the frustations and sometimes futilities / inevitabilities of life.
(As an aside, the cover of the DVD release combines the attempt-at-salaciousness-but-actually-curiously-gritty design of the original poster with a dash of Pussycat Alley-isms).
When I recently rewatched the film I’m not sure that enjoyment is a phrase that I would use about it. I’m not knocking the film at all though, it’s more that it feels like a curiousity, a snapshot of a particular way of life and a transitional point in life and culture – post-war auserity about to make way for the colour, spark and vitality of first Swinging London and pop-art mod(ernisms) and later the evolutions and looseness of psychedelia and what has come to be labelled hippie-dom.