Up (film series)
The Up series is a series of documentary films produced by Granada Television for ITV that follows the lives of 14 British children since 1964. The documentary has had nine episodes, one episode every seven years, spanning 56 years. The participants were chosen in an attempt to represent different social classes in Britain in the 1960s. The films have received numerous accolades; in 1991 the most recent installment, 28 Up, was named as one of Roger Ebert’s ten greatest films of the 20th century.
About Up (film series) in brief
The Up series is a series of documentary films produced by Granada Television for ITV that follows the lives of 14 British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. The documentary has had nine episodes—one episode every seven years—thus spanning 56 years. All were broadcast on ITV, apart from 42 Up, which was broadcast on BBC One. The participants were chosen in an attempt to represent different social classes in Britain in the 1960s. In 1991 the then most recent installment, 28 Up, was chosen for Roger Ebert’s list of the ten greatest films of all time. The first film in the series, Seven Up!, was directed by Paul Almond. From 7 Plus Seven until 63 Up the films were directed by Michael Apted, who had been a researcher on Seven Up and was involved in finding the original children, with Gordon McDougall. The most recent installments, the ninth, titled 63 Up, premiered in the UK on ITV on 4 June 2019. The aim of the continuing series is stated at the beginning of 7 Up as: “Why did we bring these together? Because we wanted a glimpse of England in the year 2000.’” The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the explicit assumption that each child’s social class would determine their future. The children are first seen on a group visit to London Zoo in 1964, where the narrator announces: “We brought these 20 children together for the very first time’”.
The series then follows fourteen of the children: Bruce Balden, Jackie Bassett, Symon Basterfield, Andrew Brackfield, John Brisby, Peter Davies, Susan Davis, Charles Furneaux, Nicholas Hitchon, Neil Hughes, Lynn Johnson, Paul Kligerman, Suzanne Lusk and Tony Walker. All of the boys have appeared in all the Up films and are most satisfied with how their lives have turned out. The four girls are from Kensington-paratory school in London, where they are the only one of the three boys chosen from the same pre-prepreparatory district of Kensington to attend college. The three girls are all from the wealthy Kensington district of London, and the three of them are all married and raised a family. The boys were all selected to attend prep schools, public schools and universities they planned to attend, and two named the specific colleges they wanted to study at. All the boys are now married and have children of their own, with one of them going on to become a solicitor and the other a barrister. The films have received numerous accolades; in 1991 the most recently installment of the series was named as one of Roger Eberts’ ten greatest movies of the 20th century. The programme was not originally intended to be a repeating series, and no long-term contract was signed with the participants. In 1998 the 1998 programme was commissioned by BBC One, although it was still produced for them by GranADA Television.