Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published December 9th 2017
Award-winning Leslie Caron Movie
Back in 1962, The L-Shaped Room was a ground-breaking movie that earned French actress Leslie Caron two renowned awards and an Oscar nomination.
The L-Shaped Room has been restored and released by STUDIOCANAL
Now a newly restored version of the black and white British movie has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray by STUDIOCANAL as part of its Vintage Classics collection.
Caron plays Jane, a single, pregnant woman in 1960's London, who moves into a shabby boarding house while she decides what to do about her unborn child.
The movie was written and directed by Bryan Forbes, who was also responsible for renowned films like The Stepford Wives and Whistle Down The Wind. In a similar vein, this is a hard-hitting and bittersweet tale with a cavalcade of interesting characters and relationships that develop.
There's the brassy landlady with all the lines, an ageing former music hall singer, a Black jazz musician and the prostitutes who live in the basement. The story also follows the burgeoning romance between Caron's character and the handsome writer who lives in the flat below, played by a young and vibrant Tom Bell. He went on to become a household name playing parts in Prime Suspect and The Krays.
Leslie Caron won awards for her role in The L-Shaped Room
Although the topics of illegitimate children and sex before marriage are no longer controversial in today's times, the storyline and dialogue still has impact. It's also a fascinating insight into the social morals of Britain in the early 1960's when the sexual revolution was taking place.
There's a strong cast that makes this movie very watchable. For a start, there's the beautiful Caron, who many will know for roles such as Gigi and Father Goose. She won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for the role.
Then there is Brock Peters, who starred in To Kill A Mockingbird alongside Gregory Peck. He plays a jazz musician that Jane befriends, while Cicely Courtneidge is the ageing actress with an unexpected secret.
A strong cast in the enjoyable L-Shaped Room
Coronation Street fans will also be interested to see that actress Pat Phoenix plays a "tart with a heart". Despite this film, Phoenix was more famous for her role as Elsie Tanner in the soap opera.
The movie has been restored in 4K by Sony Pictures Entertainment in collaboration with the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage Programme. It was even given a UK Premiere screening at the BFI London Film Festival in October ahead of its release.
Extras on this restored version also include new interviews with Lesley Caron and Lynne Reid Banks plus a featurette on The L-Shaped Room and the British New Wave. There is also a Stills Gallery.
The L-Shaped Room 1962. Cert:15. Running Time: approx 126 mins