Archive of films Deep End / Deep End

Germany / United Kingdom
1970, 89 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2011

This British-German film by Polish native Jerzy Skolimowski tells a story of romantic initiation while offering an esthetically sophisticated portrait of London at the beginning of the 1970s. Fifteen-year-old Mike succumbs to the charms of the beautiful, older Susan. The relationship gradually changes into obsession, ultimately leading to tragic consequences.


Fifteen-year-old Mike gets a job at a London bathhouse and immediately succumbs to the charms of his older, experienced coworker Susan. She returns his attention, partly for the sheer joy of a cruel game, partly because Mike reminds her of her own lost innocence. But inexperienced Mike is clueless when it comes to love games, and from an inability to fulfill his desires in real life, he gradually transforms Susan into a dream object, an unattainable image of a sex goddess for whom he would do anything.... The obsessed young man follows Susan’s every step, enabling the viewer a glimpse of the dark recesses of London’s snooty music establishments, cocktail bars, and cheap nightclubs. The raw and simultaneously esthetically sophisticated portrait of 1970s London, along with terrific performances by both leads and original music by Cat Stevens, make the film an unjustly overlooked gem of British exploitation cinema.

About the director

Jerzy Skolimowski (b. 1938, Łódź, Poland) started out as a jazz musician, poet, dramatist, and screenwriter (he cowrote Andrzej Wajda’s Innocent Sorcerers and Roman Polanski’s Knife in the Water). In 1963 he graduated in direction from the National Film School in Łódź. In Poland during the 1960s he shot several psychological dramas about issues facing postwar youth: Walkover, Barrier, and Hands Up! Since the beginning of the 1970s he has lived and worked outside Poland where he established himself as one of the few Eastern European filmmakers. His most successful film works include Deep End (1970), The Shout (1978), Moonlighting (1982), Success Is the Best Revenge (1984), The Lightship (1985), Torrents of Spring (1989), 30 Door Key (Ferdydurke, 1991), Four Nights with Anna (Cztery noce z Anną, 2008), and Essential Killing (2010). Skolimowski is also an actor.

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Out of the Past
Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Screenplay: Jerzy Skolimowski, Jerzy Gruza, Bolesław Sulik
Dir. of Photography: Charly Steinberger
Music: Cat Stevens, The Can
Editor: Barrie Vince
Producer: Helmut Jedele
Production: Maran Film GmbH
Cast: John Moulder-Brown, Jane Asher, Karl Michael Vogler, Christopher Sandford, Diana Dors


John Moulder-Brown


Thorsten Ritter

Stefanie Zeitler



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