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maggie rock film loach

Poor Cow is a British flick that I've always wanted to see, but have never been able to find. It starred the late Carol White (1941–91) as Joy in the title role, and Terence Stamp, then 28, as Dave. Adapted (from Neil Dunn's novel) and directed by Kenneth Loach, 31, this 1967 drama explored the life of a woman who moved in with her incarcerated husband's best friend. The sympathetic concern that Loach showed for the poor cow of the late 1960s is now focused on single mother of four-going-on-five, Maggie Conlan (Crissy Rock in a fact-based character). The not-so-hidden-agenda of the film is to show how the Social Service System in Great Britain harms rather than helps the people it seeks to benefit (this was also D.W. Griffith's message to the world in 1916's Intolerance). Maggie has had an ugly history. The victim of childhood abuse from her Dad, she grew up to be the victim of a horrific beating from a lover. Just as things seem to be looking up for Maggie (she meets Vladimir Vega as nice Jorge Arellano from Paraguay in a bar), she gets pregnant again. Social Services people take her baby away and Immigration Services people try to kick Jorge out of the country. It all looks pretty hopeless, and then we learn what happened to the real Maggie. Because of the violence and despair of the narrative, the film sometimes seems as if it'll go on forever, even though it's only 102 minutes. Loach guides Rock through a difficult, award-winning performance, and the performances by the other cast members, especially Chilean actor Vega, are vividly rendered.

1993 (R) 102m/C GB Crissy Rock, Vladimir Vega, Ray Winstone, Sandie Lavelle, Mauricio Venegas, Clare Perkins, Jason Stracey, Luke Brown, Lily Farrell; D: Ken Loach; W: Rona Munro; C: Barry Ackroyd; M: George Fenton. Berlin International Film Festival ‘94: Best Actress (Rock); Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards ‘95: Best Foreign Film. VHS

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