“I’m selling them this world, you’re selling them the next,” explains Albert Argyle to his struggling vicar, whose collecting box contains only a few pennies and threepenny bits. “With no guarantee”.
Albert (Ian Hendry, late of The Avengers TV series, here in his starring debut in a feature film) is a brash, unscrupulous “tally-man”, a smooth-talking door-to-door salesman.
He persuades housewives into buying things they don’t need on the instalment plan – with no money down and just a little to pay each week – for Callendar’s Credit Store.
His motto is “get the goods in the house”, and his sales techniques involve seducing his female customers to persuade them to buy on credit.
Unfaithful to his girlfriend, Treasure (June Ritchie, fresh from A Kind of Loving) – who is also the mother of his child – Albert is also cheating his boss (John Gregson) out of the profits.
Liz Fraser is impressive as Joyce Corby, the ex-beauty queen wife of an ambitious, social-climbing estate agent (Geoffrey Keen).
Joyce is up to her neck in debt, and when the bailiffs come knocking to take away her furniture, she flees from the house in terror only to get knocked down and killed.
Based on the novel All On The Never Never by Jack Lindsay, Live Now – Pay Later is both a comedy and a sharp and vivid commentary on the early 60s credit boom in Britain when the masses were enjoying a newfound spending power and learning to live beyond their means, thanks to the miracle of hire purchase.
Nyree Dawn Porter