Poor Cow
Poor Cow (1967)

Acclaimed British neo-realist filmmaker Ken Loach made his theatrical debut with this bleak kitchen-sink drama. Joy (Carol White) leads a life that makes her name seem like some sort of a cruel joke. Her husband Tom (John Bindon) is a… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 5, 1967
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Critic Score: 33% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Renata Adler
New York Times

An argument can certainly be made for sex in movies that try to approach seriously the problems of the young; and this one, which begins so frankly with maternity, seems to have become quite nervous about things physical right after the credits came on.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Not a patch upon Loach's best work, largely because he falls into all the usual traps of kitchen sink realism.

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Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film

Poor Cow is certainly a gritty portrayal of life on the breadline in the late Sixties, shot in a documentary style, but that does not mean that it is wholly downbeat.

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Roger Ebert

In the end, the few good moments (as when the girl tends bar, cares for her child and shares confidences with Terence Stamp) are lost in the mess of everything else.

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Variety Staff

Kenneth Loach uses an improvisatory technique in all this, and it largely works. Thesps were given the gist and trend of the dialog, and permitted to embroider it with their own words.

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Clark Collis

Although Loach's heart is not so much in the right place as nailed to it, there is no doubt that this makes for gruelling viewing, lacking the glimpses of humour he would show in later work.

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TIME Magazine

Despite its scruffy scene and downhill theme, Poor Cow is not really another of England's angry proletarian tragedies. The film tells its story with humanity that is never sentimental and humor that never jokes.

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MFB Critics
Monthly Film Bulletin

Not even Carol White as Joy, glowing with vitality and beautifully modulating the heroine's different moods, can make of Poor Cow more than a superficial, slightly patronising incursion into the nether realms of social realism.

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

While the film deserves praise for its unusual sensitivity to a woman's point of view, it's earnest to a fault and sometimes painfully dreary.

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More reviews for Poor Cow

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Nicki Marie
Interesting older movie. Main character, Joy, manages to be equally sympathetic and unlikeable! You watch this girl make one bad choice after another, yet the… More
Eric Broome
Director Ken Loach's first feature is an insightful but somewhat shapeless portrait of a vivacious young woman (Carol White) struggling to raise a baby in… More