Pink String and Sealing Wax
Time Out saysHamer spins his melodrama between two parallel worlds in Victorian Brighton: a suffocatingly middle-class household dominated by bullying patriarch Johns, and a glitteringly sordid tavern queened over by the magnificently bosomed Withers. As Johns' repressed son (Jackson) becomes infatuated with Withers and implicated in a plot to poison her husband, Hamer unfortunately dissipates the central conflict between these two worlds in a plethora of marginal subplots. Brilliant scenes round the bourgeois dinner table, bitchy confrontations in the bar, add some classy realism to the film, but the parallel between Johns' repressive sadism and Withers' destructive amorality is not pursued. In a distinctly hurried denouement, arrogant Googie is reduced far too easily to a crumpled mass of guilt and tears while the bourgeois family lives happily ever after.