Cathy Come Home is a 1966 BBC television play which was part of the series The Wednesday Play that ran from 1964 to 1970 (the year before I was born).
Directed by Ken Loach, (credited onscreen as Kenneth Loach) Cathy Come Home is often talked about as one of the “best single television drama” of all time and even though I have heard of the title previously. I was this evening that I finally sat down and popped the DVD into the player to watch it for the very first time. So it is one of the best single dramas of all time. Well quite simply yes. With a feel of both cinematic and documentary style, Cathy Come Home takes us into Cathys world. She is fantastically played by Carol White (also known for her role in Ken Loach’s Poor Cow). Cathy seems to have life made, a loving boyfriend (soon to be husband) played by Ray Brooks (Eastenders), a nice house and an income. However, a single incident sends Cathy and Reg’s life downward and if you think you are in for a happy tale, then think again.
Cathy Come Home is a brilliantly made but grim story, actually its not grim. It just has a super realistic feel to the entire film and that results in it feeling grim because of the storyline, and the perfect performances by everyone involved.. Shot in a raw documentary style that is pretty common nowadays, but perhaps not in the mid 60’s Its so easy to see the Ken Loach style in it when watching it. I have seen a lot of Kens films over the years but for some reason, never got around to watching Cathy Come Home.
Written by Jeremy Sandford
Produced by Tony Garnett
50 years on and the story is still totally relevant. The fashions may have changed, the technology we have in our homes may change, but one thing that never changes is the way life can turn on you in turn of a steering wheel or the blink of an eye. Just like it did for Cathy. Having only just finished watching Cathy Come Home within the past hour. I sit here now wondering what happened to Cathy, and her children. Now thats a sign of a powerful drama. Its been 50 years since it was broadcast, but I want to know more about the characters. Yes I know that the story was fictitious but as the text credits at the end stated. Everything that happened in Cathy Come Home, happened to someone in an 18 month time period. So to whoever the real ‘Cathy’s were at that time, and whoever the current day ‘Cathy’s’ are. I hope things did work out and do work out.
Easily one of the most powerful dramas Ive seen for a while and if you havent seen Cathy Come Home. I urge you to do so. Educate yourself.
Cathy Come Home is available on DVD as a standalone film or as part of Ken Loach At The BBC box set.