The Wednesday Play: Season 1, Episode 138

The Big Flame (19 Feb. 1969)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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Dock workers under the threat of redundancy, work day and night in an attempt to keep employed by running the workforce themselves.


(as Kenneth Loach)


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Title: The Big Flame (19 Feb 1969)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Danny Fowler
Godfrey Quigley ...
Jack Regan
Peter Kerrigan ...
Peter Conner
Ken Jones ...
Freddi Grierson
Daniel Stephens ...
Joe Ryan
Tommy Summers ...
Alec Murphy
Meredith Edwards ...
Michael Forrest ...
John Riley ...
Harold Kinsella ...
Andy Fowler
Joan Flood ...
Liz Fowler
Ron Davies ...
Steve Fowler
Terrence Flood ...
Liz Fowler's Son
Roland MacLeod ...
Mr. Weldon
Gerald Young ...
The Fudge


Dock workers under the threat of redundancy, work day and night in an attempt to keep employed by running the workforce themselves.

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Release Date:

19 February 1969 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Joe Hill
Sung by Rick Jones
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User Reviews

Tested by time ...
22 June 2012 | by See all my reviews

This piece of work, originally made for TV as a BBC "Play for Today", was considered by many as being quite reactionary for its time. It still is, and given the climate of today's commercial world, remains just as relevant. In many ways, perhaps even more relevant...

Filmed in a semi-documentary style, it preempts the hand held style by some decades. Many of the cast were not professional actors, but actual dockers, which enhances the authenticity and feel of the whole film.

The workers vs management industrial battle depicted is not new, and although the insidious involvement of the government and overt use of the military in the dispute is disturbing, it is surprising how open it all is. One can't help but think that in a 'modern' democracy such tactics would be far more covert.

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