Say Hello to Yesterday (1971)


A time capsule of London at the beginning of the Seventies, love in the afternoon and the likely dream of bored housewives everywhere who saw Romeo and Juliet – having a ridiculous meet-cute with hyper-verbal Leonard Whiting and playing kiss-chase across the city for 10 hours. He spurns lovely young Susan Penhaligon (uncredited) and hits on forty year old Jean Simmons taking the train to London and haunts her into hanging out with him. When she arrives at her mother’s Regency flat he turns up with flowers and Mother says, If you have an affair with that boy you’ll regret it, if you don’t have an affair with him, you’ll regret it. She and Papa had their own fun separated by WW2. What’s a frustrated middle class woman to do?  An everyday tale of a day in the life, sort of, and an underrated look at life in those in-between years when unnamed people could have a one-day stand and not live to regret it. Written and directed by Canadian Alvin Rakoff whose preferred soundtrack of Joni Mitchell and Donovan was replaced by work from Riz Ortolani, best known for Mondo Cane. If the city looks great, that’s thanks in large part to being photographed by Geoffrey Unsworth. It’s also nice to see Catweazle (Geoffrey Bayldon) as an estate agent. Whiting’s general disappearance from screen acting for several years is mystifying albeit it seems he was typecast as the beautiful young man. He was last credited as ‘Julia’s Father’ in a 2015 thriller called Social Suicide alongside his former co-star Olivia Hussey as ‘Julia’s Mother’ in what appears to be a reworking of Romeo and Juliet. Sigh.