Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
It wasn’t the girl who was from Clapham. That’s how Squeeze had it in its three-minute update of Nell Dunn’s novel Up the Junction, but Peter (The Italian Job) Collinson’s 1968 film is more faithful to the 1963 original: Polly is a young, upper-class woman from Chelsea who heads across the Thames to working-class Clapham, where she meets Lambretta-riding Peter, a junk-shop deliveryman and a fervent mod. The result is love, pregnancy, and abortion—the last of which was illegal when Dunn published her novel and when Ken Loach did his quasi-documentary BBC adaptation of the book in 1965. The tide had already shifted by the time Collinson’s theatrical film was released. Abortion was legalized in Britain in 1967, and youth-culture films with pop soundtracks—Up the Junction’s is by Manfred Mann—were among the country’s leading exports. Relive a turning point at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Mary Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (Mark Jenkins)