This 1969 film adaptation of a Kingsley Amis novel has young Jenny Bunn (Hayley Mills) heading to the South of England to start a new career as a school teacher.
She arrives at the station and takes a taxi to her lodgings, where she is greeted by her new landlord, the prospective Labour candidate in the upcoming election Dick Thompson (John Bird). She barely has time to say hello to her fellow lodger Anna (Geraldine Sherman) before she rushes out the door, but as luck would have it for Patrick Standish (Oliver Reed), Anna’s casual boyfriend and one of the local “lads”, he turns up in time to meet Jenny.
Within a short time, she has her hands full when a number of the local lads – including Julian (Noel Harrison), a member of the upper class who throws fabulous parties at his estate even though he’s on the verge of losing the place for tax reasons – take a liking to her. Virginal Jenny is such a nice girl that she becomes the objective to conquer of almost every male character in the film.
Even though Patrick is a decent enough bloke, all his sleeping around has corrupted him in a way, so when he gets Jenny back to his place one evening he is taken aback that she does not wish to jump into bed with him.
She wants to wait until she’s in love with someone before she gives in, and she is not sure about Patrick.
To his credit, he doesn’t force her, in fact, the only man who does step over the line is a drunken Dick although his shrewish wife Martha (Sheila Hancock) puts a stop to his advances.
Patrick finds something surprising has happened: almost unthinkably, he has fallen for Jenny to the extent that even when one woman (the lovely Aimi Macdonald) throws herself at him he cannot reciprocate for thinking about her.
Yet all that laddishness is not something he can give up, as he discovers to his cost.
Anna Le Page