Originally sold with the provocative tagline “Is 15-and-a-half too young for a girl? Is one wife enough for one man?”, this time capsule of a film tells the story of a young married man who has an affair with a teenage girl.
Len (Tom Bell) is a lighting technician working on a West End musical in which not-quite-16-year-old Val (Olivia Hussey) is a member of the chorus. Attracted to one another, they find circumstances favouring the development of their affair when Len’s wife Joy (Laugh-In “sock it to me” girl Judy Carne), a successful commercial model, is asked to film a TV spot in Spain and Len is asked to accompany the musical on its provincial tour.
Len and Joy live in an apartment on the Thames Embankment and despite their glamour world jobs, they are presented as believable human beings. Fashion model Joy mothers her children, makes her own clothes and goes to bed in a simple, shapeless cotton nightshirt.
Len, her backstage husband is hardworking and a good father who catches buses and tube trains and enjoys a beer with the boys.
All The Right Noises is part of a wave of British films which used the subject matter to explore masculinity in crisis and the cultural chasm between the generations.
The film was directed by Gerry O’Hara (he also wrote the script), who would go on to direct episodes of The Professionals and Press Gang for TV, and the highly successful Joan Collins drama, The Bitch (1979).
The film was made in 1969 at the height of Swinging London fever on the big screen, but despite the vivid colour schemes on display, it is definitely a child of the British New Wave of cinema.