Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

The 1960 British film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning punctually heralded the end of the 1950s. Angry young man, Arthur Seaton (played by Albert Finney), works hard in his factory all day in order to spend his earnings on beer and fags each weekend. In a prophetic nod to the national shift in morals which the sixties brought, he conducts an extra-marital affair with his more sober colleague’s wife while at the same time courting another young lady. In one scene, where he is attempting to procure an abortion for one of his girlfriends, the distant sound of a choir can be faintly heard wafting from a church across the road. It doesn’t last long, and the protagonist duly ignores it.

SNaSM is a classic British piece, refreshingly set in a working-class community with Salford accents. It both reflected, and probably helped to create, the decreasingly godless and morally degenerate Britain we came to know learned to loathe. Scenes show factory workers employed at monotonous stations, awaiting the bell signalling a shift’s end; they return home to cramped, colourless homes from which only bars and pubs offer escape, painting an interesting but hopeless picture of a meaningless life. In this film, Sunday morning is but the day on which hangovers are experienced, a boring day of recovery and anticipation of the next weekend’s round of boozing and whoring. If this characterised the fictional Seaton’s life, there are many millions in our nation today who know little else. Thank God, the gospel gives us both meaning and hope. The Christian does not require drink to drown sorrows and boredom. Sunday is a day to love and celebrate, not for recuperative functions, but for the appointment it holds with our God and His people. 

Image by Social Butterfly from Pixabay