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'Up the Junction' - which one is better?

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Two very good versions of 'Up the Junction' adapted from the book by the uncompromising and ground breaking Nell Dunn. The 1965 account directed by Ken Loach, was part of the Wednesday Play series made for television by the BBC during the 1960's which also included 'Cathy Come Home', arguably the greatest piece of television ever made and also directed by Ken Loach. The 1968 version, a slightly glossier yet still wonderful film, was made for cinema by Peter Collinson, who then directed the excellent 'The Italian Job' and who sadly died at the comparatively young age of 44. Loach's dialogue scenes, which are always raw and natural are brilliant, especially in the pub, where he completely captures the mood and tone of working class London - I always find it interesting that Quentin Tarantino is lauded for cultural referencing in his dialogue, yet Loach was doing it 30 years earlier. Collinson's version has more humour and charm, especially Dennis Waterman's performance, which I completely adore, and a generally lighter feel, but you still get the sense of London life. Which one is better... I love 'em both!

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