A wild imagination is the way Billy Fisher (Tom Courtenay – 45 Years, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner) copes with the boredom of a clerk’s role in an undertaker’s business in a dour industrial northern city. Trouble for Billy is that he’s not the uniformed dictator of Ambrosia watching his troops march through the local streets. Instead, Billy struggles with limitations as he finds himself at odds with his parents whilst keeping the two women he is engaged to separate from each other. The free spirited Liz (an early role for Julie Christie – Darling, Don’t Look Now) provides the ultimate challenge for the dreamer.
Director John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy, Darling) highlights the demands of an emergent generation following years of austerity as post-war industrial landscapes provide the backdrop for Billy’s tragi-comic need to escape from the mundanities of everyday life.