Deep End (1970)

This tale of a teenager’s obsession for his co-worker takes place in the grimy interiors of a run-down London bath house and the late night streets of seedy Soho.

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Alternative titles

  • Starting Out Alternative


“What could have been just another coming-of-age story is transformed by an absurdist sensibility, uninhibited performances and a heightened use of colour... a defining British work, as well as one of the most acute screen portraits of London.”
Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian, 1 May 2011

After co-writing Knife in the Water (1962) with Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski directed a number of powerful, politically-engaged films in his native Poland. Like his compatriot, Skolimowski came to Britain in the mid 1960s and made a number of fascinating and unusual films, including The Shout (1978) and Moonlighting (1982).

Perhaps best-known amongst these films is Deep End, a German-UK co-production principally shot in Munich, but set in London. In the film a fresh-faced employee (John Moulder-Brown) at a run-down London swimming baths obsesses after his sassy and self-assured co-worker (played by Jane Asher) whilst collecting tips for the ‘special services’ he is expected to perform for his middle-aged female clients (including Diana Dors, making an unforgettable cameo appearance).

Other foreign directors have effectively used their outsider’s eye to capture the essence of Britishness in their films – see also Jules Dassin’s Night and the City (1950) and Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).

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