SMASHING TIME is a 1967 comedy film starring Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave. It is a satire on the 1960s media-influenced phenomenon of Swinging London.
It was written by George Melly and directed by Desmond Davis. The supporting cast included Ian Carmichael, Michael York, Jeremy Lloyd, Anna Quayle, Irene Handl and Arthur Mullard.
Brenda (Tushingham) and Yvonne (Redgrave), two girls from the North of England, arrive in London to seek fame and fortune. However, their image of the city is quickly tarnished when they are robbed of their savings. Determined not to let her chance slip, Yvonne visits Carnaby Street in the hope of catching the eye of a trendy photographer, whilst Brenda gets a job in a ‘greasy spoon’ cafe.
Yvonne does get spotted by a trendy photographer, Tom Wabe (Michael York), but for all the wrong reasons; she is singled out for being poorly dressed.
After several unsuccessful job attempts, Yvonne accidentally wins the star prize in a television game show and decides to invest the prize money on being a pop star. Her single, I’m So Young, though patently awful, becomes a big hit and she and Brenda drift apart. However at a glamorous party (at the top of the Post Office Tower) the girls realise the shallowness of the media business and decide to return home.
The film was nominated for a Golden Globe (Best English-Language Foreign Film) in 1968.
The film reunited Redgrave, Tushingham and director Davis from the 1964 film Girl with Green Eyes.
Murray Melvin and Paul Danquah, Tushingham’s co-stars in A Taste of Honey, appear in cameo roles.
Private Eye magazine referred to the Queen and Princess Margaret as Brenda and Yvonne (respectively).
Michael York was to go on to appear in the Austin Powers films, which also parodied ‘Swinging London’.
The then-popular BBC series Juke Box Jury is parodied as Hi-Fi Court.
The theme-tune was sung by Tushingham and Redgrave. In the 1993 BBC series Hollywood UK, about the British film industry in the 1960s, the actresses appeared in the back of a London taxi singing the theme again.
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