Room at the Top (film)

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Room at the Top is a 1959 British film based on the novel of the same name by John Braine. The novel was adapted by Neil Paterson with uncredited work by Mordecai Richler. It was directed by Jack Clayton and produced by James Woolf and John Woolf.

The film stars Simone Signoret, Laurence Harvey, Heather Sears, Donald Wolfit, Donald Houston and Hermione Baddeley. In smaller roles were Allan Cuthbertson, Raymond Huntley, John Westbrook, Richard Pasco and Ambrosine Phillpotts. There are also early cameos by Prunella Scales, Wendy Craig, Derek Benfield, Miriam Karlin, Derren Nesbitt and Ian Hendry. Wilfrid Lawson makes an uncredited appearance as Harvey's uncle.

Signoret won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this film, while Baddeley's performance became the shortest ever to be nominated for an acting Oscar (she had 2 minutes and 20 seconds of screen time).

Contents

Plot

In late 1940s Yorkshire, England, ambitious young man Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey), who has just moved from the dreary factory town of Dufton, arrives in Warnley, to assume a secure, but poorly-paid, post in the Borough Treasurer's Department. Determined to succeed, and ignoring the warnings of a colleague, Soames (Donald Houston), he is drawn to Susan Brown (Heather Sears), daughter of the local industrial magnate, Mr. Brown (Donald Wolfit). He deals with Joe’s social climbing by sending Susan abroad; Joe turns for solace to Alice Aisgill (Simone Signoret), an unhappily married older woman who falls in love with him.

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