Momma Don't Allow

1956 / United Kingdom / 22min

Shot over nine Saturdays, the film was made cheaply with a 16mm Bolex, and single-track sound transferred from tape recordings. By the time it was completed in November 1955, its title has been changed from 'Jazz' to Momma Don't Allow, after the traditional jazz piece played in the film by the Chris Barber band.

Momma Don't Allow was warmer and more sympathetic to its working-class subject than Lindsay Anderson's O Dreamland. The film captures the emerging 'youth culture' - a term unheard of before the 1950s - contrasting the relaxed, confident working-class 'teddy boys' and their girlfriends with the more awkward 'toffs', whose arrival threatens to change the mood of the evening.



  • Original title
    Momma Don't Allow
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson
  • Dir. of Photo.
    Walter Lassally
  • Editing
    John Fletcher
  • Music
    Chris Barber Band
  • Sound
    John Fletcher
  • Duration
    22 min
  • Year
  • Country
    • United Kingdom
  • Colour
    • Black & White
  • Audio Tracks
  • Subtitles
  • Production
    United Kingdom
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
  • Awards


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Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.