6.5/10
283
5 user 3 critic

The Ploughman's Lunch (1983)

R | | Drama | May 1983 (UK)
James Penfield has made a career out of journalism. Now bankrupt, he finds himself with a group of other writers in the middle of the dispute-ridden British homeland at the time of the Falklands War.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
James Penfield
William Maxwell ...
Journalist
...
Journalist
...
Journalist
...
Young Journalist
David Lyon ...
Newsreader
David de Keyser ...
Gold
Polly Abbott ...
Gold's Assistant
...
Jeremy Hancock
Charlie Dore ...
Susan Barrington
Peter Walmsley ...
Bob Tuckett
Robert Cartland ...
Editor (as Bob Cartland)
Nat Jackley ...
Mr. Penfield
...
Mrs. Penfield
Simon Stokes ...
Edward
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Storyline

James Penfield has made a career out of journalism. Now bankrupt, he finds himself with a group of other writers in the middle of the dispute-ridden British homeland at the time of the Falklands War.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

May 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Verdade dos Factos  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The period the film was set in was Thatcherite Britain of the early 1980s. The movie is considered a critique, commentary and satire about Thatcher's Britain. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Dramatic Interludes
(uncredited)
Music by Hans May
KPM Music Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Flawed but fascinating
8 May 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I am a huge fan of Richard Eyre's work on stage and think he did a masterful job running the National Theatre for all those years. However, both the movies he has directed that I have seen (this one and Iris) are flawed. I think his style of directing might not suit film. There are several passages of the film that neither progress argument, nor develop characters nor set atmosphere effectively.

I am also a big fan of Ian McEwan's writing. This story is full of interesting material. Some of it could come across better - especially the double crossing in the various love interests and the echo of the Suez crisis therein. This might come down to the screenplay or perhaps the directing again.

But stick with it.

The scene in the pub during which Frank Finlay explains to Jonathan Pryce the origins of the ploughman's lunch is superb. The ghastly hermetically sealed cheese chunks on their plates providing a visual to Finlay's words.

We live in a society where we constantly reinvent the past in our attempts to shape the future as we want it. This is a key lesson in the film on all its many levels - the several love interests, Pryce's dereliction of family duty, the Falklands War and the Suez Crisis.

This is a fascinating piece. All the characters are ghastly, especially Jonathan Pryce's well-crafted central character. The standard of acting is consistently high. Despite the flaws, it is well worth seeing.


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