Review: ‘Poor Cow’

The film has a jolting opening, with Joy, the hapless heroine, shown in full detail giving birth to a baby, with the infant emerging from the womb in its natural state. This leads into a portrait of Joy, who has married a brutal crook (John Bindon) and, after he is nabbed by the cops, shacks up with another thief (Terence Stamp), a gentler type who is himself put inside.

The film has a jolting opening, with Joy, the hapless heroine, shown in full detail giving birth to a baby, with the infant emerging from the womb in its natural state. This leads into a portrait of Joy, who has married a brutal crook (John Bindon) and, after he is nabbed by the cops, shacks up with another thief (Terence Stamp), a gentler type who is himself put inside.

The incidents of the plot are an excuse for an examination of promiscuous Joy. Left to fend for herself, she snatches happiness where she can find it.

Kenneth Loach uses an improvisatory technique in all this, and it largely works. Thesps were given the gist and trend of the dialog, and permitted to embroider it with their own words.

It is Carol White’s film, and she scores with a flow of varied emotion, ranging from fetching happiness to a sudden spurt of tears in the final minutes, when she recalls straight to camera her affection for her baby.

Poor Cow

UK

Production

Vic/Anglo Amalgamated. Director Ken Loach; Producer Joseph Janni; Screenplay Nell Dunn, Ken Loach; Camera Brian Probyn; Editor Roy Watts; Music Donovan; Art Director Bernard Sarron

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Carol White Terence Stamp John Bindon Kate Williams Queenie Watts Malcolm McDowell
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