The Firm (DVD)

The Firm (DVD)

Ref No: 5014503248420

Details: DVD

Type: DVDs

Price: £14.99

These days people are dangerously nostalgic about the sinister tackiness of the 1980s, but there's no stiffer antidote to such delusion than Alan Clarke's The Firm. This unforgettable film was made as a one-off drama for the BBC in 1988, but its cult following has grown steadily through video, thanks to a startling central performance from a young Gary Oldman, and the riveting manner in which Clarke captures the lethal, mindless energy of football hooliganism.

Oldman plays Clive "Bexy" Bissell, working-class East London boy done good: a prosperous estate agent, proud homeowner, happy husband and doting father. But his chief pleasure is to be team leader ("top boy") of a bunch of overgrown yobs who attend football matches in order to cause violence. At weekends Bexy leads his "Inter City Crew" into rucks with rival warlords such as Yeti (Phil Davis) and Oboe (Andrew Wilde), in search of what he calls "the buzz", no matter the cost to his young family and his future prospects.

The Firm was entirely shot on SteadiCam, enabling Clarke to drop the viewer right into the thick of the action and exploit some hair-raisingly authentic rowdiness from his talented cast. Among these thugs, soap fans will spot Eastenders' Steve McFadden and Charlie Lawson of Coronation Street. The Firm is a masterpiece of social-realist drama, and one of the most virulently anti-Thatcherite films of its time. An avid supporter of Everton FC, Clarke responded to Al Hunter's script because he felt that the vicious idiots spoiling football were a new breed of disgrace. The tabloids raised a stink about the film's violence, and the BBC delayed its broadcast until 1989. A year later, Alan Clarke died of cancer, But The Firm is a tremendous last testament from the finest English director of his generation

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