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|Simone Signoret||Alice Aisgill|
|Laurence Harvey||Joe Lampton|
|Heather Sears||Susan Brown|
|Donald Wolfit||Mr. Brown|
|Donald Houston||Charles Soames|
"A Savage Story of lust and ambition."
In late 1940s Yorkshire, England, ambitious young man Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey), who has just moved from the dreary factory town of Dufton, arrives in Warley, to assume a secure, but poorly-paid, post in the Borough Treasurer's Department. Determined to succeed, and ignoring the warnings of a colleague, Soames (Donald Houston), he is drawn to Susan Brown (Heather Sears), daughter of the local industrial magnate, Mr. Brown (Donald Wolfit). He deals with Joe’s social climbing by sending Susan abroad; Joe turns for solace to Alice Aisgill (Simone Signoret), an unhappily married older woman who falls in love with him.When Susan returns from her holiday, shortly after the lovers (Joe and Alice) have quarrelled, Joe seduces Susan, and then returns to Alice. Discovering that Susan is pregnant, Mr. Brown, after failing to buy off Joe, coerces him to give up Alice and marry his daughter. Deserted and heartbroken, Alice launches on a drinking bout that culminates in her car-accident death. Distraught, Joe disappears, and after being beaten unconscious by a gang of thugs for making a drunken pass at one of their women, he is rescued by his colleague Soames in time to marry Susan.