“Billy Liar”, from 1963, stars Tom Courtney, Julie Christie, Wilfred Pickles and Leonard Rossiter. The director was John Schlesinger.
Billy lives up north in England with his parents and grandmother. It’s a grim, grey post-war world with no glimpse of the sixties. Billy wants to leave, and lives in a dreamworld, rather as Walter Mitty does.
Billy is in all kinds of trouble, at work, with engagements to two girls and with his family.
The film depicts the north, well Bradford, as a dismal place. By any standards, Billy wanting to leave is understandable. And when he re-connects with Liz who is a free spirit, there’s opportunity no-one could resist.
My local cinema did a short series of Japanese classics recently. One of them was the original “Godzilla” (aka “Godzilla: King of the Monsters!”) film, actually called “Gojira”. When it came to the west, it was edited and altered and Raymond Burr was added in.
The original film is worth digging out, if you can. It’s a little crude by modern standards, but there’s an interesting story. Remember that the war had been over maybe ten years, a little longer, so was still fresh in people’s minds.
Oh, and avoid all the re-makes and spin offs.
Another Japanese film from the 1950s is “Seven Samurai”. It’s the answer to a classic quiz question, which film was remade as “The Magnificent Seven”. But the original is worth a watch. It’s long, but fascinating.