Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

21 February 2016

Saturday Night And Sunday Morning

Look carefully at this photo:



What do you see in the bottom right corner?

If you said, "bottom bracket spindles", you:  a.) have a great eye, b.) have the right app handy, c.) spend too much time looking at bike blogs or d.) have seen Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

That seminal British New Wave film basically put Albert Finney on the map.  In SNaSM, his second film, he plays Arthur Seaton, whom we meet at work in the film's very first scene.  Where, exactly, does he work?  We know it's a bicycle factory, and we learn it's in Nottingham.  Let's see...If it were an American film and it said he worked in a bicycle factory in Chicago, we would probably assume--rightly--it was the Schwinn plant.  Likewise, our hunch that he works in the old Raleigh factory proves to be correct.

Now, as much as many of us would like to work in the bicycle industry, working in a bicycle factory is really just as boring and repetitive as working in any other kind of factory.  And so it is for Arthur, in spite of the good wage and esteem of his colleagues he earns.  

The tedium of working the lathe and his humdrum life lead him to spend his free time in pubs, where he meets Brenda, the wife of a co-worker.  He gets falling-down drunk, she takes him home and they have breakfast before her husband returns from a weekend at the races.

If I were to spend my time giving advice about everyday living instead of teaching academic skills, one of the first things I'd tell young people is that they should never, ever get into bed with anyone they meet while drinking.  It never ends well.  It doesn't for Arthur, either.  You can guess what happened. And later he confesses everything to Doreen, a young unmarried girl he meets during another night at the pub.  

Oh, if you're not interested in looking at the inner workings of the Raleigh factory or a working-class pub, you can enjoy the adorable Shirley Anne Field, who plays Doreen.


9 comments:

  1. She is cute but more about bottom bracket spindles...

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    1. Coline--That's a comment from a real cyclist! ;-)

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  3. Would you buy a used car in the dark?

    True story: A relative was bemoaning the fact that he couldn't meet any "decent" women. He had terrible luck- all his relationships ended badly.
    i asked, "So where are you meeting these women?"
    He replied, "At the bar in town... next week i'm going to try the bar in the next town over."

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  4. I've never seen this film - but now I think I need to. Your description made me think of "Look Back In Anger" -- then I followed the link, and sure enough, that one is mentioned as having some similar themes. The pictures of Shirley Ann Field - wow.

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    1. Brooks--As a student of film, you would certainly appreciate, and enjoy, "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning." It certainly has some similarities to "Look Back In Anger", though it's worth seeing on its own merits.

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  5. Curious you discuss the movie but not the book.

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    1. Full disclosure: I haven't yet read the book.

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