Deep End (1970)
Romance at the Baths
Having left school at Christmas 15 year old Michael (John Moulder-Brown) end up taking a job at the public baths where Susan (Jane Asher), his attractive co-worker shows him the ropes which as he discovers also extends to various sexual favours such as one lady (Diana Dors) enjoying talking football and nestling his head into her cleavage. But Michael becomes infatuated with Susan whose liberal views and beauty grab him whilst she enjoys toying with him. But as Michael becomes obsessed with her it leads on a tragic path as he tries to split her up from her boyfriend.
I've mentioned it before but certain movies work for a certain generation and "Deep End" I am sure is one of them. Made back in the late 60s and featuring a story which crosses teen obsession with sexual liberation it now seems quite a curious movies. In fact in light of recent revelations some of the attitudes on show in this movie would be brought in to question as one of the characters is a creepy swimming instructor who enjoys when girls flirt with him and he playfully flirts back.
So what do you get in "Deep End"; well you get a public bath house which has this seedy side which proves to be an education for young Michael. We have Michael's growing infatuation with the liberated Susan who leads him in to the seedier side of life and into the back alleys of Soho until Michael's obsession pushes him over the edge and in to doing so some tragic. All of which is interwoven with comical and sexual scenes including some comically sexual scenes including one which amounts to a wrestling match with Diana Dors. It is curious but also strangely fascinating.
It makes me wonder what those who watched this as young adults for the first time back in 1970 thought of it and how it spoke to them. Maybe its all over nature going from comedy to drama to some artsy stuff worked better back then as unfortunately now it makes it curious and at times awkward.
What this all boils down to is that "Deep End" is now a curious movie and one which doesn't really work for those who watch it for the first time now some 40 plus years after its release.
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