Socialist filmmaker Ken Loach has made the archive of his film and television work partially available on youtube, including several of his works for The Wednesday Play BBC anthology, known as a clearinghouse of social and working-class drama in the 1960s. Films included online (descriptions are from the youtube channel):
The Wilkinson Glass factory in the midlands believe they are a caring employer - even providing a free bag of coal as a Christmas bonus - and have always had a good relationship with the local trade union. But their workers see things differently when faced by a management offensive and form a Rank and File Strike Committee. The committee expects harassment from management but surely their union leaders in London will stand by them; won't they? Jim Allen's script was inspired by the Pilkington Glass strike in St. Helens and closely follows the events of a strike that had taken place there in 1970. It was written at a time when the Labour government was proposing legislation to make unofficial strikes illegal and when trade union leaders were seen to be too close to the government.
Taking its title from a Home Office ruling that three clear Sundays were to elapse between a sentence of death and execution, James O'Connor's "emotional autobiography" tells the story of Danny, a young prisoner put up to attack a warder by two old lags. When the warden dies, Danny is left to await and contemplate the ultimate punishment. Jimmy O'Connor's moving, warm and, at times, humorous play was based on his own harrowing experiences. He had been sentenced to death for murder only to be reprieved two days before he was due to hang. Shown in the BBC's The Wednesday Play series in 1965, the broadcast was watched by 11 million viewers and boosted the abolitionist lobby during the then raging debate over capital punishment.
In this off-beat musical - a satire that combines fantasy, social observation and songs, - a working class man goes to put a deposit on a new house only to find he prefers spending to saving and is happy to spend his money on a few hours of happiness rather than a lifetime's conventionality.Written by poet and Private Eue contributor, Christopher Logue, with music from Stanley Myers (best known for Cavatina, the signature theme for the 1978 film The Deerhunter), the film features songs from Samantha Jones, Long John Baldry, Lesley Wood amongst others and locations ranging from Fortnum and Mason to a strange gas-works in the East End of London.
Rube, Sylvie and Eileen are three Clapham factory girls up for a good time: flirting with lads in the pub, practising the twist and swapping tales with the other women at work. But will the misfortunes and tragedies that befall them break their seemingly irrepressible spirit?This ground-breaking drama saw Ken Loach take the filming out of the studio and onto the very streets depicted in the story. With an immediacy only ever seen in current affairs programmes, the portrayal of ordinary people's lives had an authenticity seldom witnessed in television drama.
Kate, a young girl under psychiatric examination, suffers from a lack of confidence, self-esteem and self-control -- telling of the "bad Kate" who commits immoral acts. Could the hypocrisy, selfishness and weakness of those around her have led to this state of mind or can Kate simply be diagnosed and dismissed as a schizophrenic? In a drama told in Loach's convincing documentary style, writer David Mercer questioned the accepted condition of schizophrenia. The film, broadcast in The Wednesday Play series, led to heated discussions on television and in the press, while Mercer won the Writers' Guild Award for the Best Television Play of 1967.