Saturday, June 21, 2014

Classic Cinema Spotlight: Georgy Girl

avintagenerd

"Hey there, Georgy girl. Swingin' down the street so fancy-free. Nobody you meet could ever see the loneliness there - inside you" ~The Seekers (Lyrics HERE)

One day years ago when I was channeling surfing (and had cable still) I caught the last five minutes of Georgy Girl (1966) and I was immediately intrigued and thinking to myself, "what the heck is this? and who is this actress?" I never found the movie again after that (this was way before Netflix and Dvd's) but I never forgot about it.

This week I finally saw Georgy Girl in all her glory and I have to say that this film has gone to my favorite classic films list. There is just so many wonderful and powerful things that happen in this film that literally blew me away!

Let's start with it being set in England in the 1960's. England in the 1960's was like American in the 1950's. Just a height of change, growth, and excitement about life. It was filmed in black and white which added such a raw naturalness to the story. 

And then there is Georgy played by the phenomenal Lynn Redgrave. She played an awkward girl perfectly. I could empathy with her awkwardness and looking at the world of cool passing her by and wondering when her time would come to shine. But what I love about this character is that at the end she keeps just being exactly who she always was. She does mature and grow but she is still her awkward and outspoken self from beginning to end and I admire that.

Georgy's parents are the servants to a wealthy gentleman named James (James Mason) who has provided for Georgy as a father would but actually wants her to be his mistress. Her father constantly reminds her to show gratitude to James although he seems unaware what James's true motives are. Georgy's flatmate, Meredith (Charlotte Rampling) is narcissistic, selfish, and in those times considered a loose woman. She basically went where the attention was no matter the cost.

The cost to Meredith was a few abortions, no direction in her life, and an emptiness that she doesn't speak about but you can see that it is there. She becomes pregnant again by one of her lovers (Jos) who is friendly with Georgy and decides to keep it and have Jos (Alan Bates) marry her. Georgy, always chasing after Meredith like James is always chasing after her, hopes that she can help Meredith raise the child.
Georgy Girl
Georgy Girl
Georgy Girl
Georgy Girl
Georgy Girl

It all becomes a sort of disaster with Meredith feeling utterly disconnected with the baby and wanting for it to be adopted while Jos and Georgy then take the baby off her hands and begin to play house.

Eventually, everything falls into the place for the best I suppose and Georgy marries the elder James in order to adopt Sara (the baby girl). The final scene is of Georgy holding Sara and completely ignoring James.

The films gives you so much to think about and discuss and wonder. Georgy Girl (the film) was adapted from the book by the same name which you can find HERE.

I loved this film and I have to add it to my dvd collection soon! It is just a fascinating look at life in the 1960's, how it was for younger people, especially for women. It also reflected the importance of the choices we make and how we handle them-sometimes muddling through them and sometimes learning that making the right choices are the hardest to do.

Have you seen Georgy Girl? Are you intrigued by 1960's London? Did I mention designer for the wardrobe of the character of Meredith was Mary Quant? Swoon!

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