Film: Spring and Port Wine pg rating Year: 1970
Spring and Port Wine still
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Country: UK Genre: Drama
Director: Peter Hammond
Starring: James Mason, Susan George, Diana Coupland, Rodney Bewes, Hannah Gordon

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Spring and Port Wine Synopsis - Spring and Port Wine is set in Bolton, Lancashire in the late 1960's and centres around the household of the Crompton family. The head of the household is Rafe, is a stern and financially prudent bible basher who runs his household in a religiously strict, and rather dogmatic way. His wife, Daisy, is a meek and supportive wife, and a very caring mother to their four children. But with the children growing up and having jobs and lives of their own (which do not coincide with the morals of their father), they begin to question their father's authority and beliefs. Will they be able to compromise to get along, or must the will of the father prevail and run risk of splitting the family apart forever.

Review of Spring and Port Wine - Spring and Port Wine is an odd film in many ways. The kind of morality questions poised here seem more at home in the late 1950's rather then here at the start of the 1970's. It also runs between a quite powerful and relatively realistic study of generational conflict within family life, mixed with fairly broad elements of humour. But it does work. The script does provide a very interesting and rather skillful insight into the inter- relationships of the family. It takes the familiar archetypes of the strong father, the silent obedient wife, wilful children etc but plays that against the deeper characteristics that are apparent in the real life. James Mason and Diana Coupland both give tremendous performances, but Susan George shines out way ahead of everyone else proving what a great and, in my opinion, hugely underestimated actress she was in her prime.

Please note that Spring and Port Wine has never been released on DVD and the VHS version has been long since deleted. It is such a cult film that original VHS copies now change hands for three figures. So check out ebay or keep your eyes peeled on TV for one of the very, very occasional repeats, that this lost classic gets.

The reasons I recommend Spring and Port Wine are: 1. A superb script and which is a very skilful and deep study of family life. 2. Superb ensemble cast. 3. Susan George in her prime.