Teenage schoolgirl Jo (Tushingham) gets pregnant after a one-night stand with a black sailor, while her boozy mother Helen (Bryan) flits between boyfriends. When Helen marries the shifty Peter (Stephens), Jo moves out and gets a job at a shoe shop. She meets Geoffrey (Melvin), and he ends up sharing her run-down apartment. Geoffrey offers to marry her even though he is gay, but when the newly single Helen reappears, she has different ideas.
Shot on location around the industrial city of Manchester, this “kitchen sink” drama oozes the texture of its gritty environs. Adapted from Shelagh Delaney’s play, director Richardson (Father of Natasha and Joely) delivers a searing portrait of an angry, confused young woman moving into adulthood. Winning four BAFTAS, and earning the newcomer Tushingham a Golden Globe award, Richardson’s work stunned sixties audiences with its groundbreaking treatment of homosexuality and interracial relationships.