Screen Two: Season 5, Episode 8

The Firm (26 Feb. 1989)

TV Episode  - 
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,219 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 15 critic

This is the story of rival "Firms" of football (soccer) supporters, and how one man has a wish to team them up for the European Championships of 1988. However, when this is discussed, the ... See full summary »

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Title: The Firm (26 Feb 1989)

The Firm (26 Feb 1989) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Sue
...
Andrew Wilde ...
Oboe
Charles Lawson ...
William Vanderpuye ...
Aitch
...
...
Nunk
...
Terry Sue Patt ...
...
Simon
Nicholas Hewetson ...
Beef
Steve McFadden ...
Billy
Steve Sweeney ...
J.T
Hepburn Graham ...
Stu
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Storyline

This is the story of rival "Firms" of football (soccer) supporters, and how one man has a wish to team them up for the European Championships of 1988. However, when this is discussed, the opposing leaders are not happy, as they believe this is a challenge to their authority. This Film shows how football violence has progressed from pure violence to a form of organized crime, to the extent that all the leaders know each others home phone / mobile phone numbers. Written by Darren Alexander <Darren@lerman.ftech.co.uk>

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26 February 1989 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The BMW 3 Series vandalized at the service station changes from a 1982 E30 model to an older 1975 E21 model when attacked. See more »

Quotes

Bex Bissell: How can I put this?
Bex Bissell: I can't
[Head butts Yousef's brother, Wes]
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Firm (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Hornchurch Boys
(uncredited)
sung to the tune of "Nick Nack Paddy Whack"
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
The car bombing, the testosterone, and not a ball in sight
27 March 2000 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Different from the similarly-entitled Tom Cruise vehicle in much the same way that a punch in the head is different from a solicitor's letter, this is where the late great Alan Clarke - Britain's best TV director and perhaps the best British director of the 70s and 80s - finally got to work with Gary Oldman. Oldman is Bex, leader of a gang of football hooligans. His crew go head-to-head with another bunch of guys from Birmingham. That's pretty much the story.

The insight, for which respect must be paid to screenwriter Al Ashton, is that these guys aren't poor white trash but professional men. Bex is an estate agent and when we first meet him he is selling a house to a couple by admitting to them frankly that it's rubbish. He shows them in and says "If this house don't sell itself I'm a monkey's uncle." Then he walks away down the path and, for a moment, scratches his armpits and gibbers like a chimp - an inspired bit of improv from Oldman.

This was Oldman before he got into his period of being an American Ham - sharp, keenly observational and immensely likeable even though the character he's playing is a complete scumbag. There's a lot of violence, and violence in a Clarke film isn't a rowdy punchup, it's Stanley knives in the face and iron bars in the groin. A gun gets used towards the end, which I personally found a bit unrealistic.

One of the most remarkable things about this movie is that at no point do you actually see a football. These guys aren't football fans, they're in it for the fighting. They were the energies that Margaret Thatcher unleashed and then affected to deplore. Guys like Bexy own much of Britain now.

When Oldman got tired of acting in bad American cop thrillers, he showed what he'd learned from Clarke by making Nil By Mouth. The boy done good. The Firm was Clarke's last film; a year later he was dead from cancer. Don't miss it.


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