Slow-paced but poignant pic based on an Alan Sillitoe novel which captures both the lyricism and grime of the Nottingham area. Carefully avoiding the pitfalls of the motorcycle thug genre, director Harold Becker weaves a bitter-sweet love affair between a petty teenage thief and the daughter of a wealthy rag dealer. Touches of humor and implied social comment, plus imaginative location lensing, give a ring of authenticity and honesty.
Both Simon Rouse and Patrick O’Connell, as the younger and older Tony, put in superb, convincing jobs of thesping as outcasts of society. Sillitoe steers clear of moralizing, and even social issues inherent in the relationship between the protagonists is made subservient to a broader concern for lost youth and the joys of yesteryear.