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Moonlighting (1982)

PG | | Drama | 26 September 1982 (USA)
A Polish contractor, Nowak, leads a group of workmen to London so they can provide cheap labor for a government official based there. Nowak (Irons) has to manage the project and the men as ... See full summary »

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Writer:

(original screenplay)
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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nowak
...
Banaszak
Jirí Stanislav ...
Wolski
Eugeniusz Haczkiewicz ...
Kudaj
Edward Arthur ...
Immigration Officer
Denis Holmes ...
Neighbor
Renu Setna ...
Junk Shop Owner
...
Supermarket Manager
Judy Gridley ...
Supermarket Supervisor
Claire Toeman ...
Supermarket Cashier
Catherine Harding ...
Lady Shoplifter
Jill Johnson ...
Haughty Supermarket Customer
David Squire ...
Supermarket Assistant
Michael Sarne ...
Builders' Merchant (as Mike Sarne)
Lucy Hornak ...
Wrangler Shop Assistant
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Storyline

A Polish contractor, Nowak, leads a group of workmen to London so they can provide cheap labor for a government official based there. Nowak (Irons) has to manage the project and the men as they encounter the tempations of the West and loneliness and separation from their families. Nowak is the only one of the group who speaks English, and he uses this as a tool over his team. When the unrest in Poland leads to a military takeover, Nowak is faced with a much more difficult situation than he expected. Written by Dan Hartung <dhartung@mcs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

26 September 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy gázsi  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie's closing credits state that this picture was: "Filmed entirely on location in and around London, England". See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Nowak: 2:00 AM. Tuesday. 5th January, 1982. All we have left now is my five pennies and a six hour walk to Heathrow Airport. Now I cannot delay any longer. I must tell them the truth. What is happening in our country. God help me.
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Best Films of the '80s (1989) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Small Overlooked Film from Early 1980's
20 March 2016 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

Led by Nowak, the only member of the group with minimal English skills, four Polish contractors arrive in London to gut and refurbish a row house that belongs to their boss back in Warsaw. Heavily laden with tools and carrying only enough cash for materials, bare living expenses, and little entertainment, the four face separation from family and an often hostile English environment. However, the money earned will go a long way in Poland, and their boss will have a renovated London flat at a quarter the cost of using English labor.

Written and directed by Polish playwright Jerzy Skolimowski, "Moonlighting" is a low key film that focuses on the interaction among the four isolated men, who live, work, and sleep in the flat. Nowak, Jeremy Irons in a quiet understated performance, is the only one to regularly venture outside to find food and building materials. Faced with dwindling funds, Nowak devises various methods to shoplift goods or outwit store managers and cleverly double his grocery purchases. While sheer luck often aids Nowak with his dodgy schemes, the English shopkeepers seem remarkably dim, and the immigration officer on arrival at Heathrow was unbelievably gullible.

The story takes place in 1981, the year the film was shot, and, while Nowak struggles with finances and an approaching deadline, Poland stumbles into a military coup, and martial law is imposed. With phone lines cut between London and Warsaw and all flights to Poland canceled, Nowak must conceal the events unfolding at home from his compatriots to keep them focused on finishing the flat. Because three of the four principal actors have few lines and those only in Polish, the film concentrates on Irons, who ably carries the film. Although much of the action takes place inside the flat, Skolimowski's direction manages to avoid a claustrophobic feel. However, "Moonlighting's" leisurely pace does require patience. But Nowak's sharp wits and audacity, fueled by his determination to complete the assigned task despite the mounting odds, make for engrossing viewing. Skolimowski's "Moonlighting" is a small, overlooked film with many rewards for discerning viewers to discover.


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