Cathy Come Home Review

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This is the bleak tale of Cathy (Carol White), who loses her home, husband and children as she slides down the housing ladder and is abandoned by 60s Britain's inflexible welfare system.


Ken Loach's profoundly affecting docu-drama, made for the BBC's Wednesday Play series, stars Carol White and Ray Brooks as Cathy and Reg, a London couple sliding down the rungs of the housing ladder towards homelessness and despair. Due to the inflexibility of the welfare system of the time, it seemed that there was no alternative, and no way to stop, the inevitable slide towards ruin, a point reinforced by the powerful performances and script.

An influential indictment of government policy (it led to the formation of housing charity Shelter), it came second to Fawlty Towers in the BFI list of the all-time top 100 British TV programmes.

Filmmaking at its most socially conscious, with assured and passionate direction from a young Loach.