IMDb > High Hopes (1988)
High Hopes
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High Hopes (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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High Hopes -- Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful.


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7.6/10   3,005 votes »
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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Mike Leigh (writer)
View company contact information for High Hopes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 February 1989 (USA) See more »
Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful... See more » | Add synopsis »
5 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Irony is a Dying Art See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Phil Davis ... Cyril (as Philip Davis)

Ruth Sheen ... Shirley
Edna Doré ... Mrs Bender

Philip Jackson ... Martin
Heather Tobias ... Valerie

Lesley Manville ... Lætitia

David Bamber ... Rupert

Jason Watkins ... Wayne
Judith Scott ... Suzi
Cheryl Prime ... Martin's Girlfriend
Diane-Louise Jordan ... Chemist Shop Assistant
Linda Beckett ... Receptionist
Ali ... Baby

Directed by
Mike Leigh 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mike Leigh  writer

Produced by
Simon Channing Williams .... producer
Victor Glynn .... producer
Original Music by
Andrew Dickson 
Cinematography by
Roger Pratt 
Film Editing by
Jon Gregory 
Production Design by
Diana Charnley 
Art Direction by
Andrew Rothschild 
Costume Design by
Lindy Hemming 
Makeup Department
Morag Ross .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Howard Arundel .... first assistant director
Marc Munden .... second assistant director
Dom Shaw .... assistant director
Art Department
Robin Heinson .... stand-by painter
Sound Department
Steve Hancock .... studio sound technician
André Jacquemin .... sound recordist
Peter Joly .... dubbing editor
Peter Maxwell .... re-recording mixer
Billy McCarthy .... sound recordist
George Richards .... boom operator
Noel Wallace .... dubbing projectionist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Graham Martyr .... clapper loader
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Debbie Scott .... assistant costume designer
Other crew
John Paul Chapple .... production executive
Britt Harrison .... production co-ordinator
Simon Relph .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Rupert Boothe-Braine:Now... what made this country great was a place for everyone, and everyone in his place. And this is my place.See more »
Movie Connections:
Lonely StreetSee more »


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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Irony is a Dying Art, 18 April 2003
Author: russdean ( from Australia

This is a magnificent film full of humour, dignity and tragedy. The two most compelling characters are the hirsute courier, Cyril, and his gardener girlfriend Shirley, socialists both, who have an ongoing, symbolic debate about whether to have a baby or not. In the meantime - no pun intended - the courier's mother is dying - tired, losing her short term memory, and lonely. Other important characters include two appalling yuppies - caricatures only if you had your eyes closed in 80s Britain - plus the courier's nouveau riche but working class sister and her misogynistic husband. Karl Marx's sad big head at Highgate cemetery also makes an entry into the film.

Mike Leigh is a wonderful talent - long may his film-making continue! Postscript: Great news the film is now available on DVD - see!

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