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I.D. (1995)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  5 May 1995 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,029 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 4 critic

Four policemen go undercover and infiltrate a gang of football hooligans hoping to root-out their leaders. For one of the four, the line between 'job' and 'yob' becomes more unclear as time... See full summary »



(original story), (screenplay)
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Title: I.D. (1995)

I.D. (1995) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Reece Dinsdale ...
Richard Graham ...
Perry Fenwick ...
Terry Cole ...
Steve Sweeney ...
Nicholas R. Bailey ...
Micky (as Nicholas Bailey)
David Daley
Paul Funnell


Four policemen go undercover and infiltrate a gang of football hooligans hoping to root-out their leaders. For one of the four, the line between 'job' and 'yob' becomes more unclear as time passes . . . Written by Mark Harding <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When you go undercover, remember one thing: who you are.


Crime | Drama


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 May 1995 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Deltio taftotitas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shadwell F.C. is actually based on Millwall F.C. Shadwell's nickname is The Dogs and their ground is called The Kennel. Millwall's nickname is The Lions and their ground is called The Den. West Ham's nickname is The Irons. See more »


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User Reviews

Deeply disturbing, yet unmissable
5 March 2011 | by (London) – See all my reviews

I'll just start by saying that a lot of the negative reviews I've seen for this film really miss its fundamental point. They focus largely on the admittedly far-from-realistic presentation of the football hooliganism, which I find surprising given that the film's real message -- as you would think would be made clear from the title and tag-line -- is "I.D."; identity; who you are.

"I.D." is a film which I really enjoyed very much; the plot opens with the formation of an undercover group of four police officers who are to infiltrate the hooligan firm surrounding the (fictional) East London football club Shadwell Town, based largely on the inner-city London clubs most associated with football violence. The previous police team has just been ratted out by the ever-vigilant firm, so it's very important that the four are careful to fit in perfectly to avoid blowing their cover. The undercover gang is split into two pairs, one of which consists of the superior officer, Trevor (Richard Graham), and the film's main character, John (Reece Dinsdale).

The undercover gang is led nominally by Trevor (because, as he says at one point, "I'm the sergeant!") but it is clear from early on that the real leader of the operation is the much more street-smart and savvy John. John carefully and gradually makes them known at The Rock, the main Shadwell hooligans' pub, staffed by the monolithic yet eloquent landlord Bob (excellently portrayed by Warren Clarke) and the friendly barmaid Lynda (Saskia Reeves), and he and Trevor become regular faces around the Shadwell firm. As John himself says in the film, Trevor is incapable, and nearly blows their cover on numerous occasions -- luckily for everybody, John is able to keep the operation going.

All four of the undercover policemen become actively attached to the Shadwell team, as well as to the hooligan lifestyle -- however, while the other three are able to keep some context on their activities, John begins to change dramatically from the clean-shaven copper presented at the film's start into a hard-drinking, hard-hitting Shadwell thug. When Shadwell are drawn to play away against their local rivals Wapping (also fictional) in a cup match, John's disillusionment is intensified when he witnesses uniformed police using excessive force on supporters during the match. The line between undercover policeman and real hooligan becomes obviously blurred, and John becomes more and more unstable.

I won't give the rest of the film away, as I encourage you to watch it for yourself; you will find yourself revisiting it over and over again, which is surely the sign of a movie with something special. A highlight is the wonderful original score by future Goldfrapp keyboardist and producer Will Gregory, which is a large part of what makes this film so great; the violent scenes are accompanied by heavy, pounding war drums, while the eerie backing scores for the disturbing psychological scenes add well to the overall atmosphere. The musical highlight, however, comes during the sequence at Wapping; an electric-guitar-dominated tune combines with the events on screen to create a feverish, climactic moment which I feel is the film's best.

Notably, no actual football is shown -- I think the point here is that the filmmakers are trying to say that hooliganism has nothing to do with it. Instead we are shown the crowds packing the terraces, chanting, cheering and shouting at the players and referee. Although there are some realism errors here and there (£3.50 seems jolly cheap for the late 1980s, for example, and in the middle of the aforementioned Wapping sequence the fans celebrate a goal by cheering for just a second, then falling silent) this is done very well on the whole; as somebody who held a season ticket at a club very much like those portrayed for a number of years, I have to say that the overall atmosphere was realistic and engrossing -- I really felt like I was with them at the game, and that is something I've never had happen with any other film.

All in all, I would just like to sum up by saying that I don't actually consider this to be particularly a football hooligan film, or even a football film; as I said above, no football is shown. I consider this a psychological thriller, which I think was what it is intended as -- and while I and others have spotted some holes in the realism of the football, the violence and so forth, I myself forgive the film because I feel it doesn't detract from its over-riding message; which is, as the film's tag-line says: "remember one thing: who you are."

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