James Woolf

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Room At The Top Review


Extraordinary
Watch a scene at random from Room at the Top and you might think you've stumbled upon a garden-variety romance, what with its parlor-room confessions of love and lingering cigarette breaks. But give it a minute or two, waiting for Laurence Harvey (our favorite Manchurian assassin) to get his groove on and you'll realize what a monstrous film this truly is. Harvey plays a middle-class accountant(!) who decides there is "room at the top" for even him -- and so he sets about wooing the local business leader's daughter. Meanwhile, he's also having his way with a considerably older woman (Simone Signoret, who won an Oscar for her role) on the side. Creepy, perverse, and inimitable, this film has withstood 45 years of changing social values and will easily take another 45 more. For 1959, this film was decades ahead of its time and deserves a much wider audience than it ever received back then. Seek it out; you won't be disappointed.
James Woolf

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