42 Up

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42 Up is part of a longitudinal documentary series of films, the first of which was directed by Paul Almond and the remaining ones by Michael Apted for Granada Television. The series follows the lives of fourteen children in Britain from the time they were 7 years old until adulthood at the age of 42.

The children selected represented the wide range of socio economic backgrounds that were prevalent in Britain during the time. The assumption was that social classes of each child is what predetermines their future lives.

The subjects included fourteen children out of twenty who met at a London zoo. The group included Bruce Balden, Symon Basterfield, Jackie Bassett, Andrew Brackfield, Peter Davies, John Brisby, Susan Davis, Nicholas Hitchon, Charles Furneaux, Neil Hughes, Paul Kligerman, Suzanne Lusk, Tony Walker and Lynn Johnson.

Each episode revisits the participants after increments of seven years in which they describe the current state of their lives. Topics covered include marital, career and living status as well as how well the participant appears to be adjusting to his or her life. Marital partners, significant others, co-workers and friends are interviewed to get a perspective on the participant and where they were in their lives at the time of filming.

Participants were selected in an effort to represent all of the various social classes in Britain during the 1960s. The group includes children of extremely different backgrounds, from poor and average to wealthy. The interviews after the first in the series were voluntary. Each participant was filmed during a two day period with the interview portion lasting over six hours.

The documentary film was broadcast on both the BBC and ITV and has been at the top of the 50 Greatest Documentaries list.

1 Season, 1 Episode
July 21, 1998
Documentary & Biography
Cast: Bruce Balden, Jacqueline Bassett, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield
42 Up

42 Up Full Episode Guide

  • Michael Apted catches up with the group he's been tracking every seven years since 1964. He brings up a variety of topics to the now 42 old subjects, including the past, future, careers, marriages, adultery, children and even death.

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