Contextual Analysis


Goood article about film

The Equal Pay Act 1970

equal pay act of 1970 / important for womens rights [1]

sex discrimination act, not brought in until 1975 [2] [3] [4]

womens role in the 70s


I will be doing a contextual analysis of the 1970 film Deep End. I’ll be looking into the social and political aspects around the period when the film was produced and released.

I am going to look into the social aspects around the time of 1970 and to start with the rights and roles of women in the 70s and how they differ to the modern day. I thought i’d start by looking into the legal rights that women had during the time of production and release. I found that during production there was no act in place at all for equal pay. The equal pay act of 1970 wasn’t given royal assent until just before release on the 29th of may 1970 and didn’t actually come into force until late 1975.

[1] This act gave women the right to equal treatment in terms of conditions at work and equal pay. This was a groundbreaking time for women as this was probably the biggest thing to happen in women’s rights since the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 [2] which gave all women over the age of 21 the right to vote in general elections.

The character of Susan (Jane Asher) is not how the majority of society expected women to act at the time this was set. She isn’t faithful to her fiancee and openly allows and encourages flirtation with men and even Michael the main character who is only 15 year olds. The period of time this was produced was a time in which women were becoming more and more independent; especially young women.

There was a general election in 1970 which elected a conservative government lead by Edward Heath. Previous to this there had been 6 years of a labour government and after the election there had been a level of economic uncertainty at the time. As seen in this graphic here:


One of the main concerns around the time was the potential economic instability of joining the European Economic Community (now the European Union) and whether it was a good choice for the UK to join it. Once the conservative government in 1970 was elected it was in their manifesto to join and so it was all but decided until the British people had another choice in 1975 in a referendum on whether to stay or leave the community.


Next i will look into the chronological aspects of Deep End and find out what films of similar genre and themes influenced this film. I thought i’d look at The Graduate(1967) to start with as it was a suprise hit in 1967 grossing over $105 million on a $3 million budget[4]. The Graduate is one of the most influential films of the 1960s and as a coming of age tale not unlike Deep End. I think there are similar themes in the two films and that Deep End has been influenced when talking about things like complex feelings of love between a young and an older person and how that can change the development of an adolescent person.

Another groundbreaking film that really brought films with teen protagonists and that dealt with issues that teenagers had to mainstream audiences was Rebel Without a Cause(1955). The film broke social barriers of the time in the United States and gave way for films like Deep End to be created in the future.

Contextual Analysis

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