Room at the Top

Room at the Top

Room at the Top is a 1959 British drama film based on the 1957 novel of the same name by John Braine. It was adapted by Neil Paterson (with uncredited work by Mordecai Richler), directed by Jack Clayton (his feature-length debut), and produced by John and James Woolf. The film stars Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears, Donald Wolfit, Donald Houston, and Hermione Baddeley.


In 1947, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, Joseph (Joe) Lampton, an ambitious young man, moves from his hometown, the dreary factory town of Dufton, to the somewhat larger town of Warnley to assume a secure but poorly paid and dead-end post in the Borough Treasurer's Department. Determined to get ahead, and ignoring the warnings of his colleague and flatmate Charlie Soames, he pursues Susan Brown, the daughter of a local industrial magnate. She has been dating wealthy Jack Wales but Joe is able to charm her. Mr and Mrs Brown attempt to frustrate Joe's social climbing by persuading Joe's boss to encourage him to pursue a woman of his own class; getting him a job offer back in Dufton, which he refuses when he discovers the machination; and sending Susan on a trip abroad, but Susan remains smitten.