Considered ultra-mature film fare in 1962, The L-Shaped Room stars Leslie Caron as a unmarried, pregnant French girl. Arranging for an abortion (illegal at that time), she takes up residence in a ramshackle British boarding house where most of the other residents are also outcasts of society. Many of the character types were new to films of the era, but have since become cliches: the understanding young black, the lesbian actress, the prostitutes without golden hearts. There is also a Christopher Isherwood type writer (Tom Bell) who observes the passing parade and writes a book on the subject. Director Bryan Forbes brings his usual muted sensibilities to the project, resulting in a work that downplays the sensational aspects and emphasizes characterization. Surprisingly, while The L-Shaped Room was considered too "hot" for several corporate-owned American movie houses, it was an early arrival on 1960s TV, where it frequently ran uncut.
by Hal Erickson synopsis