Title: 7 Plus Seven
Release Date: 15 December 1970
Director: Michael Apted
Production Company: Granada Television
I’ve kind of accepted that 7 Plus Seven is the Ugly Duckling of The Up Series. Michael Apted takes over the directorial reigns, but doesn’t seem quite ready to connect with teenagers while asking them questions. To be honest, it’s a fool’s errand since 14 is an age where you’re not going to find many kids willing to be expository about their life. Since there was still no plan to revisit the subjects every seven years, Apted has also not settled on the structure he would adopt for the latter films. It’s basically, here’s the kids at seven and here are the kids now.
All that being said, it’s still a wonderful and necessary film. For some reason Seven Up! feels ancient but the social change of the mid-to-late 60s makes this children in this film feel like they are living in more contemporary times. Apted once again asks them about class, race, religion, education and career goals, dating, and what they think of the other kids involved. Some of the kids are parroting what the adults in their lives have taught them but others are really thinking things out. A surprising number of them support the Conservative Party which I guess is why Margaret Thatcher rose to power once they were old enough to vote.
The absolute highlight of this movie is when Suzy is talking about social class on her father’s estate and we see her dog slaughter a rabbit in the background.