Saturday, 18 June 2011

To Sir, With Love (from London?)

I've been largely absent from blog-land for the last week or so, but I've just handed in a big assignment and have some free time on my hands again.  So I'm back!  My creative energy has yet to fully reappear as I'm still recovering from some late nights to meet the deadline, but I've just been watching one of my favourite movies so thought I would post on that.

Yup, 'To Sir, With Love'.  It's doubly-appropriate for this blog as it's set in the East End of London, and it was made in the 1960s - so it's vintage London.  You could even say it's triplely appropriate, as I guess it's a love letter, isn't it?

I don't know what it is about this movie, but I just think it's wonderful.  It's a well-worn idea now - teacher goes into a rough school and manages to reach the kids by teaching them about life and treating them as adults - but, released in 1967, it was one of the firsts of that kind.  Apparently it's based on a semi-autobiographical book as well, which for some reason I've never gotten around to reading.  One day...?  But the main thing is that it's done really well so is genuinely lovely, and I always get emotional in the farewell scene...

The movie is in my family's collection so I first saw it quite young.  As a result, I developed a fondness for Sidney Poitier in his dignified, handsome gentleness (a fondness also partly inherited from my mum) and a tendency to occasionally spend a day humming the wonderful title song.  For a while as a teenager, I also had a burning desire for a white crochet dress like the one from the dance at the end, but it wasn't quite enough to get me to learn how to crochet myself!

Even though 60s isn't generally my style, and the length is shorter than I usually like to wear, I still think that if I happened across a dress like that now, I would be very tempted to buy it.  If only for the sense of achievement I would feel in having finally fulfilled that teenage dream!

But I'm going to stop writing and let some screen-shots take over now:

The all-important back-combing of a 60s 'do...

Testing whether Sir's comment about 60s hairstyles being 200-years-old is true.

There's that white crochet dress again!


  1. Love it, love it, love it!!! Thank you for the reminder. I must watch again. E.R. Braithwaite is the author of the biography. The blurb on the original book begins "This is the noblest, most moving, least sentimental account of life in a modern school and of a teacher's struggles with his pupils and with himself that I have come across ..." - Michael Croft in The Observer. The truly beautiful Mr Poitier makes it his own.

  2. Glad to see you back with such a gem. Maybe you should talk to your grandmother about a crocheted dress. She probably has a suitable pattern.

  3. Maybe I should ask my grandma... except I'm not sure I'm confident enough about the look on me to commission a dress! It would be awful if she went to all that trouble and then I got cold-feet about wearing it!

  4. Hmmm ... maybe she has something in her cupboard that you could try first.

  5. Maybe you could get those white boots in the shop window in your Exmouth Market blog post. They would go with the dress! I see a 60s theme move from your usual 40s one.