Poor Cow

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"When two arms close around her...She knows she's home. Two arms will do. Any two arms will do."
  • Approved
  • 1968
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.8  (1,954)

Poor Cow is a British drama film released in 1967, directed by Ken Loach and starring Terence Stamp, Carol White, and John Bindon in lead roles. It is based on the novel of the same name by Nell Dunn. The movie revolves around the life of Joy, a naive and struggling woman in the East End of London, who tries to make ends meet while dealing with a difficult personal life.

The film portrays the gritty reality of working-class life in the 1960s, which was marked by high levels of poverty, deprivation, and social inequality. It takes the viewer on Joy's journey as she navigates through life, trying to find happiness in the face of several setbacks and hardships.

Joy, played by Carol White, is a young woman who lives in an impoverished neighborhood with her abusive, criminal husband, Tom (played by John Bindon). When Tom is sentenced to prison, Joy is left to take care of their young son and fend for herself. Throughout the movie, Joy has a string of relationships with different men, including a thief named Dave (played by Terence Stamp) and a wealthy businessman named Tom.

The film explores themes of class, gender, and family, as Joy tries to find her place in the world. She is torn between her loyalty to her husband and her desire for a better life for herself and her son. As she navigates through different situations, she realizes the harsh reality of the world she lives in.

The film's plot is non-linear, as it jumps back and forth between different moments in Joy's life, and the audience is given glimpses of the choices and circumstances that have led her to her current situation. The story is told from Joy's perspective, and her voiceover narration provides insights into her inner world and thought processes. The film's direction and editing are outstanding, with a unique blend of realism and artistry that captures Joy's struggles and triumphs in a poignant and empathetic way.

The acting in Poor Cow is superb, with Carol White delivering a powerful and nuanced performance as Joy. She portrays Joy's vulnerability, strength, and resilience with equal conviction, and her portrayal of a woman trapped in difficult circumstances is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Terence Stamp, in his role as Dave, brings a sense of danger and unpredictability to the screen, and John Bindon gives a convincing portrayal of Tom's violent and abusive behavior.

The movie's soundtrack is another notable aspect of the film, featuring music by Donovan and the Beatles, among others. The songs add an additional layer of emotion and meaning to the scenes they accompany, and they give the film a timeless quality that resonates with audiences of all ages.

Overall, Poor Cow is a powerful and poignant drama that portrays the struggles of working-class life in 1960s London with exceptional realism and empathy. It is a character-driven film that explores the complexities of human relationships and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. The film's timeless themes, outstanding direction, and standout performances make it a must-watch for fans of British cinema and social realism.

Poor Cow
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (1,954)