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Ten Bob in Winter (1963)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

A young Jamaican student has run low on his funds at the end of the term. He tries to get work along with two other friends in a meat factory.

At the gates they are told there is only work for two people. The student gallantly allows his two friends to take the jobs. Before leaving, he asks one of his friends for a loan of 10 shillings, promising to repay when he gets a job. At the job centre he is overwhelmed by the long queues and waiting times and leaves.

On the street he is approached by another black man, a musician, who asks to borrow 10 shillings to get his suit out of the cleaners so that he can pawn it to get his guitar out of a pawnshop. The musician is insistent and so the student relents and lends him the money. As this is only cash, he follows the musician to the shop, anxious that he might escape round the back.

Waiting outside the shop, he tries to avoid being noticed by a snobby acquaintance, but he is spotted and the acquaintance engages him in conversation. The musician, having persuaded the pawnbroker to take the suit, returns triumphantly with the ten shillings. But the student, still trying to impress his snooty friend, pretends not to know him. The musician leaves, leaving the student feeling guilty about his behaviour and foolish for losing the ten shillings. As he heads home, however, the musician catches up with him and hands him the ten shillings.