Sunday, June 8, 2008

The L-Shaped Room

Just in case you thought the recent boom in “she’s having her baby” movies was a modern one, I would like to bring to your attention the 1962 black-and-white movie “The L-Shaped Room”.

Leslie Caron plays Jane Fossett, an unmarried French woman who goes to London in her second month of pregnancy, hoping to live out the duration in relative anonymity before returning home. Although she hides her situation from her fellow boarders, she does seek out medical advice and reveals that she had left the father of her own accord. She later confides that she had had a moment of weakness with this fellow, losing her virginity and becoming impregnated at the same time.

She soon finds that no-one seems to think she should have the baby. The obstetrician makes an appointment for her to terminate the pregnancy, assuming that was what was warranted. She leaves, insulted and determined to keep the baby. Another boarder, who overhears her telephone call to the doctor, offers her pills to end the pregnancy. She puts them in her pocket and leaves.

In a rash and terrible moment, she takes the pills. When she collapses in the street, she is brought to a hospital, where she finally receives some quality prenatal care. She is thankful that the abortive attempt was unsuccessful. The film ends with a healthy birth and an open ending as to how a romantic interest might play out.

This is a wonderful movie starring an excellent actress. Some adult situations, mild in comparison with today's films. I would preview this film before viewing it with your older teenage daughter.

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