Poor Cow (1967)

If you are looking for an NTSC VHS or DVD copy of the film email me.
A love story about a girl, the man she is living for, and the man she is living with.

| Formats | Notes | Pictures | Quotes | My Summary | My Review


Character Actor
Billy (Deleted) Malcolm McDowell
Joy Carol White
Tom  John Binden
Dave  Terrence Stamp
Beryl Kate Williams
Aunt Emm Queenie Watts
Tom's Friend James Beckett

Directed by Ken Loach
From the novel Poor Cow by Nell Dunn


VHS - PAL / DVD R2 - out of print



45rpm Single
Book Cover

German Poster

Italian Poster


Malcolm gives two very different stories about his role in this film.

"I didn't get on with the director and he scrapped my part. He wanted his actors to improvise everything and I didn't care for it. I want a script to work with, not just be caught on film doing something for the first time whether it's right or not." - Seventeen 7/69

"I did one day in Poor Cow, in which I made love to Carol White. I had no idea what the role was, I never read the script. It was an interior scene, and it had been raining, so every time I came into this ruddy place they drenched me with a watering can. It wasn't great fun. Then they couldn't match the exterior because they never got any more rain after that, so they cut it all out. That was the end of my movie career for a few months." - Show Magazine 1/72

My Summary

    The title refers to the main character, Joy the slut. She is of average looks, but is surrounded by ugly people so she comes out looking much better than she really is. At 18 she leaves home, runs off with Tom, gets married, pregnant and has a boy, Johnny. Soon after it all turns to shit. Tom abuses her mentally and physically and it turns out that he makes a living by being a thief. A botched bank robbery sends him away to prison, leaving her all alone.
    Soon after she falls for another thief, this one a jewel thief, named Dave. With him she finds love and happiness for the first time, but soon after he is arrested again and sentenced to 12 years. She is alone again. The movie is filmed like a documentary, with titles and narrating like she is being interviewed, it really slows the film down worse than it would be. The film is very dark and depressing and extremely British. The thick accents are impossible to follow at times leaving you in the dark as to what the dialogue is.
    Now, with no income, Joy becomes a barmaid. To earn extra money on the side she becomes a whore, taking home men from the bar. She even does a stint as a model for a pin up calendar. All the while she attempts to live a normal life while waiting for Dave to get out of prison, with a chance at parole he may be out in four years.
    She goes to visit him and he has heard about her slutting around and that her husband Tom is getting out soon and knows he has lost her. She lies and tells him everything is OK. Soon after Tom shows up making like everything is fine and that they have to get together again for Johnny's
sake. Stupidly, she agrees.
    While everything seems good for a short time, he is soon hitting her again. She knows the only way to get rid of him is to get him back in prison and bide her time until Dave is released.     
    Then one day her son gets lost and she realizes that he is the most important thing in her life as she frantically searches for him.

My Review

    This film is a god awful nightmare. I only watched it to try and picture where Malcolm would've been in it. His scene would've been in the later part of the movie where Carol is having sex with a bunch of different guys. It wouldn't have been much of a role. Malcolm should be quite thrilled his scenes were cut out as it will always mean if... will be his first film. What better debut could you want? The film is very British and stuck in the 60s. This makes it dated and the language thick from that time. The setting is bleak and pathetic and you can't imagine people really wanting to live like that. This film is extremely pointless and an absolute horror to watch. It is dark and dreary and filled with a huge array of ugly people in a dirty environment. I can't imagine what they were aiming for and where the audience is to relate to or enjoy the film. Since Joy is such a miserable waste who chooses her useless lifestyle, you don't really care what happens to her or the film. I would never, ever watch it again. I barely survived the first time hoping for some fleeting glimpse of Malcolm in the background that somehow survived, but this would not happen. It is not funny, not witty, not interesting at all. It is totally trite and idiotic.  I can't even imagine how this sorry piece of trash got made in the first place. The shocking thing is this garbage was nominated for a Golden Globe? Talk about the sorry state of cinema back then. To top it all off if you hate 70s music then you will absolutely vomit all over yourself when you hear the inane folk styling of Donovan throughout this awful film, filmed entirely on location in a closet. The film might only remain an interest to those who want to see Terrence Stamp in one of his earlier roles.

Rating: 0/10

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