Directed by Lindsay Anderson • Documentary • With Alun Owen • 1957 • 40 minutes
Lindsay Anderson followed his Free Cinema debut O Dreamland with this affectionate tribute to working-class life, depicting the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden market. On the back of his renowned Free Cinema film Momma Don’t Allow, producer Karel Reisz managed to secure a job directing advertisements for the Ford Motor Company, on the proviso he could continue making documentaries. He immediately enlisted fellow Free Cinema practitioner Lindsay Anderson to make the first film. Like Anderson’s previous Free Cinema film, O Dreamland, it would be a study of working class life, but with a more affectionate appreciation of the hard-working Covent Garden market porters than the previous film’s ironic view of Margate seaside. At nearly 40 minutes in length and with Walter Lassally’s virtuoso 35mm cinematography, it’s a more polished production than the earliest examples of Free Cinema, while retaining the stylistic and tonal signatures of the movement. Every Day Except Christmas went on to win the Grand Prix at the 1957 Venice Film Festival.