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.
“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).
1970 Federal Republic of Germany, United Kingdom
Directed by
Jerzy Skolimowski
Produced by
Helmut Jedele
Written by
Jerzy Skolimowski, Jerzy Gruza, Boleslaw Sulik
Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown, Karl-Michael Vogler
Running time
88 minutes

Articles related to Deep End


40 fabulous Flipside factoids

By Vic Pratt, William Fowler and others

40 fabulous Flipside factoids

Top up your watchlist... 21 films about working-class Britain

Top up your watchlist... 21 films about working-class Britain
Where to begin

Where to begin with Jerzy Skolimowski

By Michael Brooke

Where to begin with Jerzy Skolimowski
Load more

Subscribe to BFI Player to access more films like this

Start with a 14-day free trial then only £4.99 a month - cancel any time.

Explore subscription on BFI Player