‘UP THE JUNCTION’:
DOWN AND OUT FROM
CHELSEA TO BATTERSEA
‘UP THE JUNCTION’
A BHE Production/ Paramount, 1968.
Director: Peter Collinson. With Dennis Waterman,
Suzy Kendall, Adrienne Posta and Maureen Lipman
(DVD, 2008, Paramount Pictures DVD)
‘There’s nothing new about today, only what the papers say…’
(“Up The Junction” by Manfred Mann)
Dennis Waterman. He’s forever with us. The loveable-rascal child-star of BBC-TV’s adaptation of Richmal Crompton’s ‘Just William’ from 26th May 1962, he could later be seen as the dashing young hero opposite Christopher Lee in Hammer Horror’s ‘Scars Of Dracula’ (1970), valiantly dueling the vampire Count on the battlements of Castle Dracula, before Lee is struck by lightning and plummets to his fiery death. But he became even more high-profile as DS George Carter, tough side-kick foil for John Thaw’s no-nonsense Detective Inspector ‘Jack’ Regan in hard-hitting cop-drama ‘The Sweeeny’ (from January 1975), which spun-off into two big-screen movies in 1977 and 1978. The universally-popular ‘Minder’ softened his persona, reaching new heights of popularity as gullible easy-going Terry McCann to George Cole’s inept devious con-man ‘Arthur Daley’ (from 29th October 1979). He even got to ‘write da feem toon, sing da feem toon’, and that theme-song – “I Could Be So Good For You” saw him cavorting on ‘Top Of The Pops’ as it peaked at no.3 in November 1980. Since then he’s been ageing comfortably into the role of retired cop ‘Gerry Standing’ in ‘New Tricks’ with James Bolam and Amanda Redman (from 27 March 2003), taking the Waterman screen-life all the way from schoolboy to senior citizen. He’s likeable, and people like Dennis Waterman in an easy undemanding reliable kind of way. He knows how to work to camera, because it’s something he’s always done. It’s his day-job.
Later, although writing predominantly for the stage, Nell Dunn followed ‘Up The Junction’ with Ken Loach’s equally forceful ‘Poor Cow’ (1967) with Carol White and Terence Stamp. Her subsequent theatre work includes ‘Steaming’ (1981), which ran on Broadway and was revived in the West End during the nineties, while ‘Cancer Tales’ (2003) was a series of monologues and dialogues written in response to her father’s death. Meanwhile, ‘Up The Junction’ features a score of supporting actors with their own vital contributions – comedian Hylda Baker, Alfie Bass, Liz Fraser, as well as dolly-birds Suzy Kendall and Adrienne Posta. Briefly married to Dudley Moore, Suzy Kendall was ‘Gillian’, one of the sassy underperforming schoolkids in teacher Sidney Poitier’s classroom, alongside Lulu and Judy Geeson, in ‘To Sir, With Love’ (1967), tackling racial and social issues in a touchingly humorous way. The seventies were less kind to her, until she (again alongside Liz Fraser and Adrienne Posta) appeared in drab sex-comedy ‘Adventures Of A Private Eye’ (1977). While Adrienne, who also cut a series of Pop singles through the sixties, finally charted as a session-singer on Jonathan King’s 1971 hit “Johnny Reggae” as the Piglets. She also rejoined Dennis Waterman as ‘Jenny’ in the ‘Minder’ episode “All About Scoring, Innit?” (broadcast 20th November 1980). Because Dennis Waterman, he’s forever with us.
‘DON’T GET CAUGHT WAS
WHAT SHE WASN’T TAUGHT’
‘UP THE JUNCTION’ (A BHE Production/ Crasto distributed by Paramount Pictures, 25 January 1968) Director: Peter Collinson. Producers: John Brabourne and Anthony Havelock-Allan. Screenplay by Roger Smith based on the book ‘Up The Junction’ by Nell Dunn. With Dennis Waterman (at Pete), Suzy Kendall (as Polly), Adrienne Posta (as Rube), Maureen Lipman (as Sylvie), Liz Fraser (as Mrs McCarthy), Susan George (as Joyce), Alfie Bass (as Charlie), Linda Cole (as Pauline), Doreen Herrington (as Rita), Jessie Robins (as Lil), Hylda Baker (as Winnie), Queenie Watts (as Mrs Hardy), Billy Murray (as Ray), Michael Robbins (as Figgins), Mike Reid (as uncredited Policeman outside Court). Music by Mike Hugg and Manfred Mann, LP ‘Manfred Mann Go Up The Junction’ (Fontana TL/STL 546023, February 1968) produced by Shel Shalmy with thirteen original tracks. Group in the Pub doing “I Need Your Love” are the Delecardos. 114-minutes (DVD, 2008, Paramount Pictures DVD)
The June 1979 no.2 hit single “Up The Junction” by Squeeze (A&M 7444) – from the group’s second album ‘Cool For Cats’, has no direct connection to the film, but writers Glen Tilbrook and Chris Difford acknowledge its influence on the song’s title and lyrical themes
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