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A Taste of Honey 12 rating

Rita Tushingham delivers a BAFTA-winning performance as a resilient Salford schoolgirl making her way in the world in this classic of 1960s British cinema.

Drama 1961 102 mins

Director: Tony Richardson


Resilient working-class heroine Jo (Rita Tushingham) flees her uncaring single mother (Dora Bryan) and gets pregnant by a black sailor (Paul Danquah). She seeks solace from another social outsider, a meek gay textile student (Murray Melvin). A Taste of Honey was adapted by Shelagh Delaney from her first play, written while she was still in her teens.

If the then-daring subject matter suggests an issue-led drama urging moral tolerance, director Tony Richardson’s treatment is more a matter of poetic realism, highlighting sensitive changes of mood and emotion against a backdrop of grimly authentic Salford locations. Social attitudes may have moved on since 1961, but wide-eyed Rita Tushingham’s affecting central performance remains a delight.