The L-Shaped Room

Synopsis: Jane, a young French woman, pregnant and unmarried, takes a room in a seedy London boarding house, which is inhabited by an assortment of misfits. She considers getting an abortion, but is unhappy with this solution. She falls into a relationship with Toby, a struggling young writer who lives on the first floor. Eventually she comes to like her odd room, and makes friends with all the strange people in the house. But she still faces two problems: what to do with her baby, and what to do with Toby.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Bryan Forbes
Production: Columbia Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
126 min

Do you wanna know, darling, eh?

You wanna watch it, darling.

You'll get done up one of these nights.


Well, you'll be very happy with us, dear.

We're just one big happy family here.

Been looking long have you?

Er, no. Not long.

I have been looking, of course.

Oh, yes?

Been looking, have you? Yes.

Well, I know what it's like, dear.

Especially the prices

some of them charge.

They take advantage, you know, dear.

Yes, really take advantage.

You married, dear?

No, I'm not married.

Oh. On your own are you?

Oh, well, that's nice, isn't it?

Not the bulb. Just the switch.

There we are. Nearly there.

Still, it's nice and private, isn't it?

I always think these top rooms

are the nicest, myself.

You don't get too much noise, do you?

And plenty of fresh air.

That's right, dear. We're here now.

The bathroom's downstairs,

you know, for proper washing, like,

but you've got a sink up here

for your, er, other ablutions and that.

I had it put in, but of course they don't

appreciate it, do they, some people?

It's all been properly cleaned

since the last, er...

You there, dear? Ah.

I've cleaned it all up.

It's all spotless now.

And of course everything's provided.

I get a good class here, you know?

Never have any trouble.

Yes, always cater for good class.

Soon as they're empty,

they're snapped up, my rooms.


I've hardly time to change the sheets.

How much...

- How much is the room?

- What, dear?

Well, how much

did you think of paying, dear?

I haven't made up my mind yet.

I have other rooms to see.

Well, I don't suppose

you'll see anything better, dear.

You're not English, are you, dear?

- No, I'm French.

- Oh, French? Oh, yes?

Well, that's nice, isn't it?

Nice to travel.

You, er, wouldn't think 3 too much,

would you, dear?

Yes, I'm afraid I would.

Well, thank you for letting me

see the room, anyway.

Well, now, let's think.

Don't wanna overcharge you, do I?

Don't wanna take advantage.

How about 50 bob then,

seeing as we won the war together?

Er, 50 bob? Is that 2?

- Aren't you familiar with our money?

- Is it 2?

- What, dear?

- What you just said.

Now listen, dear.

I'll tell you what I'll do.

I mean, I'd like you to take the room.

I've taken a liking to you, see.

I'm not like some. I never close my door

to the nigs and that.

Seeing as you don't want

to look any further, two guineas.

How would that be, eh?

You know what two guineas are,

don't you, dear?

It's 42 shillings payable in advance.

Yes. All right.

- You'll take it, will you?

- Yes.

Well, now. You counted

that out all right, didn't you, dear?

I'm sure you'll soon get the hang of it.

Every Friday.

- Got some belongings have you?

- Er, yes. I have to go and get my things.

I see. You're living somewhere

at the moment, are you? That's nice.

Just wanted somewhere better, I suppose.

Well, that's natural.

All right, then, dear. I'll leave you to it.

Got something on the stove downstairs.

Anyway, I expect you wanna start

making the place look a bit more like home.

Down 'ere, dear,

if you're looking for Sonia.

- Hello? Yes.

- 'Is Sonia there?'

- Who?

- 'Sonia.'

Oh. Hold on, please.

- You want to give that a good bash.

- Oh.

Sonia? Telephone.

Tell him to ring back.

- Tell him I'm busy. You know.

- Oh.


Could you ring back in half an hour?

She's busy at the moment.

- 'Half an hour, eh?'

- Er, half an hour.

- 'Thanks very much.'

- You're welcome.


- Yes?

- Ooh!

Come in.

Come in!

Who is it?

Oh, hell. What's going on here then?

- Is this yours?

- Er, yes, thank you.

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Lynne Reid Banks

Lynne Reid Banks (born 31 July 1929) is a British author of books for children and adults. She has written forty-five books, including the best-selling children's novel The Indian in the Cupboard, which has sold over 10 million copies and has been successfully adapted to film. Her first novel, The L-Shaped Room, published in 1960, was an instant and lasting best seller. It was later made into a movie of the same name and led to two sequels, The Backward Shadow and Two is Lonely. Banks also wrote a biography of the Brontë family, entitled Dark Quartet, and a sequel about Charlotte Brontë, Path to the Silent Country. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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