Poor Cow

Film, Drama
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Poor Cow

Ken Loach's heartfelt drama explores the harsh reality of 1960s Britain.

British filmmaking icon Ken Loach was still calling himself Kenneth when he shot this heartbreaking drama depicting the tough flipside of swinging ’60s London. Carol White is Joy, a battered wife and mother who gets a new lease of life when her husband is banged up for armed robbery. Shacking up with guitar-strumming good-time-boy Dave (Terence Stamp), Joy struggles to find her feet in a world where society’s sands are shifting and the role of women is becoming increasingly uncertain.

Taking his cues from the French New Wave but adding an intimate, non-judgmental empathy all his own, Loach immerses us in the character of Joy – her loves, fears and failings. But ‘Poor Cow’ also offers a microcosm of working-class life, with Chris Menges’s restless camera winding through bustling streets and bombsites, smoky pubs and poky flats. It may not have the emotional intensity of Loach’s very finest work – that would come with ‘Kes’, two years later. But ‘Poor Cow’ is a remarkable film, a time-capsule character study of great warmth and compassion.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Release date: Friday June 24 2016
Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ken Loach
Screenwriter: Nell Dunn, Ken Loach
Cast: Carol White
Terence Stamp
John Bindon
Kate Williams
Queenie Watts
Geraldine Sherman
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