Cover image for A taste of honey
A taste of honey
Richardson, Tony, 1928-1991, screenwriter, film producer, film director.
Special edition.
Publication Information:
[New York, N.Y.] : The Criterion Collection, [2016]
Physical Description:
1 videodisc (100 min.) : DVD video, sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 bonus disc.
Based on one of the most controversial plays of its time, shows how a disaffected teenager finds her way amid the economic desperation of industrial Manchester, and despite an absent, self-absorbed mother. With its unapologetic identification with social outcasts and its sensitive, modern approach to matters of sexuality and race, a classic that is still a startling benchmark work of realism.
General Note:
Adapted from the play by Shelagh Delaney.

Originally released as a motion picture in 1961.

Special features on disc one: new, restored, 4K digital transfer; audio interview with director and coscreenwriter Tony Richardson from the 1962 Cannes Film Festival; "Momma don't allow" (1956), a Free Cinema short film by Richardson and shot by Lassally; Disc two: The actors (interviews with actors Rita Tushingham and Murray Melvin, recorded by Criterion in 2016); excerpt from a 1960 television interview with playwright Shelagh Delaney on the series Close-Up; interview from 1998 with cinematographer Walter Lassally; Remaking British theater: Joan Littlewood and "A Taste of Honey, " a new piece about the film's stage origins, featuring an interview with theater scholar Kate Dorney; booklet essay by film scholar Colin MacCabe.
Added Title:
Momma don't allow.

Remaking British theater.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DVD 71235 Adult DVD Central Library

On Order



Director Tony Richardson adapted the screenplay of A Taste of Honey from the "kitchen sink" stage play by Shelagh Delaney. Rita Tushingham plays a working-class British teenager, living with her drink-sodden, libertine mother Dora Bryan. Denied affection by her selfish mother, Tushingham is pushed further in the background when Bryan impulsively marries her latest boyfriend Robert Stephens. The girl takes a job at a shoe store, then moves in with her kindly homosexual employer Murray Melvin. The two lost souls live in harmony until Tushingham becomes pregnant after a casual affair with black sailor Paul Danquah. Melvin comes to the rescue by offering to look after the baby. This relatively blissful state of affairs is short-lived; before long, Tushingham's hateful mother, having been kicked out by Stephens, descends upon her daughter and her "family," with all her debilitating emotional baggage intact. A poignant denouement caps this riveting slice-of-life drama. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Based on a groundbreaking British play epitomizing "kitchen sink" realism, Tony Richardson's (Tom Jones) likewise gritty film version launched the career of Rita Tushingham as a working-class teen named Jo. Impregnated by a sailor, she is forced to make it on her own, in the absence of her ne'er-do-well mum, with the support of a gay male companion (Murray Melvin). Bittersweet and sometimes darkly funny, this often touching story of disaffected souls looking for love while dealing with economic hardship belies its theatrical origins thanks to on-location shooting. [Trailers, LJ 7/16] © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.