A Place to Go (1963) Slap and Tickle, Robbery, Romance, Fun Kitchen Sink London Time Capsule

A Place To Go (1963) Michael Sarne singing pub title Basil Dearden sixties london

Here we go! A Place To Go. A random quirky British film that brought a massive smile to my face. I had a sneaky feeling I was gonna like this even having absolutely no idea what I was about to watch.

Tagline – The punch-up romance of the year…..

It features so many unexpected weird and offbeat scenes. However it’s held together by a familiar and traditional narrative of the working class Flint family trying to get through life. Is it a romance or is it a thriller? Maybe a kitchen sink drama? It’s slightly comic in nature but also dares to be rough, tough, angry and punchy. There’s a sing-song or two, a robbery, a bit of greyhound racing and an almighty wild west style bar room brawl. And best of all it’s all wrapped up in a historical document of early 60s London.

A Place To Go (1963) Michael Sarne Bernard Lee christmas hats Basil Dearden sixties london

The Flint family consist of Dad Matt Flint (Bernard Lee) and Mom Lil (Doris Hare).  Dad loves a drink, Mom looks after the house. He thinks he’s the head of the house but we all know it’s Mom who’s boss.  Then there’s oldest son Ricky (Michael Sarne) and his pregnant sister Betsy (Barbara Ferris) and her fella Jim (David Andrews). All squeezed together in a two up and two down terrace house in Bethnal Green.

A Place To Go (1963) Michael Sarne smoking William Marlowe Basil Dearden sixties london

Ricky halfheartedly works at a cigarette factory. A part from a quick little bit of slap and tickle with the tea girl, Ricky is bored.  Tired of his families working class status. Desperate to bring some money into the household. An opportunity arises to join a gang planning to rob his factory warehouse. Local gangster Jack (John Slater) and his foot soldier Charlie (William Marlowe) need an inside man to sabotage the warehouse alarm system. A perfect plan to steal hundreds of boxes of cigarettes. Ricky joins the crew.

A Place To Go (1963) Michael Sarne John Slater William Marlowe robbery Basil Dearden sixties london

Within the gang is the tough spirited and supremely feisty, I’m gonna bite your lip off, Catherine (Rita Tushingham). Ricky is pulled into her unconventional eccentric manner and possibly her alluring words of “Do you want to make love to me Ricky?”

A Place To Go (1963) Rita Tushingham big smile Basil Dearden sixties london

A Place To Go was such a wonderful watch. It’s the way it throws completely random scenes at you. Straight from the get go you’re thrown into the families drunken Christmas party. A giant cracker, a sing song and Dad playing with matches next to the decorations. What could possibly go wrong? Then there’s a high rise spitting old man, a bit of bottom slapping and one of my favourite scenes, Dad Flint challenging his rival to “fisticuffs” outside the pub. It’s a scene I wasn’t expecting and it’s very funny. I’ll leave you to discover that moment. But wait this is a gritty drama too. Punch ups, knifes, iron bars. It comes at you from all angles.

A Place To Go (1963) Michael Sarne pub fight William Marlowe Basil Dearden sixties london

  • A Place To Go is directed by the very talented Basil Dearden. I’ve adored his films since doing this blog. With Sapphire (1959) and Victim (1961) scoring perfect on the Wolfie meter. Another two to look out for are The Mind Benders (1963) and the superb The League of Gentlemen (1960).
  • Based on a novel called Bethnal Green by Michael Fisher with screenplay duties going to Michael Relph who would also produce many of Basil Dearden’s films.

A Place To Go (1963) Roy Kinnear slap and tickle with his tea and biscuits

  • There’s a few familiar faces that pop up. Look out for the foreman Roy Kinnear who likes something a little more with his cuppa tea. One of the washer women in the open plan wash house is Yootha Joyce and cockney market trader George Sewell sells a canary.

Like I said above, one of the brilliant things about this little gem is the time capsule aspect of the film. Decrepit old blitz bombed out buildings dotted around. (Perfect places for a bit of smooching.) Slum terrace houses, the once pride of families, now evicted and ready to be pulled down. The giant open plan wash houses filled with chatting and scrubbing ladies cleaning the families linen. There’s the long gone Clapton Stadium greyhound and whippet racetrack, waiting to be demolished in the 70s to make way for urban renewal. The film provides a wonderful snap shot of the end of the 50s era into the pre-60s of a borough of London.

A Place To Go rolls romance, punch ups, a heist and comedy all into one smashing good film. If you fancy it, you can stream it here at time of writing. Thanks for popping on by. Keep it filmy. Mikey Wolf.

A Place To Go (1963) Rita Tushingham big smile Michael Sarne you wanna make love to me ricky

16 thoughts on “A Place to Go (1963) Slap and Tickle, Robbery, Romance, Fun Kitchen Sink London Time Capsule

    • Hi Jeff hope you enjoy it if you do see it. It’s a quirky and fun film from the British Kitchen sink realism era. I always enjoy these films for the historical vision of times bygone. The mannerisms and saying etc. All the best… Mikey

      Liked by 2 people

    • Make sure you check the channel it’s on Jay as they have some real gems on there. I’ve been making my way through them. I intend to do a post about it very soon if I can just find some time!!! :-/ Like you say they don’t often hang around long those sites, esp as they in such good quality too.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I always enjoy time capsule-type films like this, especially from the ’70s, a time I remember as a kid, where a lot of things I enjoyed are now bygone things. But good lord, what a crazy-sounding film! So many odd storylines going on…I’m trying to think of a US film that would be similar, but can’t think of any off the top of my head. And it seems to me I’d seen Rita Tushingham in something, but I can’t place her; the only film I recognized from her LONG credit list was ‘Doctor Zhivago’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s rather bonkers. I’d be interested to hear how it would go down across the pond. Yeah me too the bygone stuff really interests me. Different mannerism, the way people acted and spoke, how they filled their time. As well as the way everything has or hasn’t changed really fascinates me. I sometimes get as much out of that than the film story itself! hehe I never knew she was in Doctor Zhivago. I still haven’t seen it. One day I must. But that run-time. Though that looks a walk in the park compared to The Irishman. Still can’t find the time for that yet. Christmas is coming and I’m just gonna flop on the sofa for a whole week. Though Mrs Wolf with have very differing notions for me!!!!!!


      • Yes, Doctor Zhivago is long as hell, but it’s quite good…the cinematography is simply outstanding. And The Irishman is on tap for Christmas day with a friend of mine…if that proves too long, I have Buckaroo Banzai (which she’s never seen) on-tap and ready to watch!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I gotta get to Dr Z one day for sure! Yeah those lengthy ones can stop you in your tracks.
          You ain’t gonna believe it but I’ve never seen It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. The few times I nearly got there I see the run-time of 3 and half hours and I’m like shiiiit that’s darn long. Same with The Irishman. Sounds like you got the perfect plan with that. Christmas day is a sat on the sofa all day stuffed with food day. Sorted. I got it planned for New Year Eve. I might be escaping some in-laws stuff which will free little ole me up for a big portion of the day. Gonna surround myself with food and booze with a funnel and a bucket to save the walks to the lavvy. (Only joking I haven’t got a funnel hehe)
          Buckaroo Banzai on stand by. I salute you.
          “Now go, Big-booty. Use more honey. Find out what she knows.!!!!!”


          • Ha, now you’ve got BB quotes memorized! The list is endless! “Somebody turn off that gosh-damn klaxon!”

            And I kinda do the same thing with long movies: late at night, want to watch a film before going to sleep…120 minutes, nope….116 minutes, nope…ahh, 84 minutes, perfect!

            Your New Year’s Eve sounds great…I’ll be doing just about the same thing as you. Food, drink, play a game from my board-game baseball season, watch a movie or two, maybe an SCTV episode, have some ice cream…what more could a guy (or gal) ask?


  2. I’m going to watch it, Mikey. It sounds completely original. I love films like that. They are so few and far between. The film The Late Show is like that, I think. Also Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and The Nice Guys. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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