Goodbye Charlie Bright is the humorous and heart-warming story of the friendship between two teenage boys from a tough council estate. Set during a long hard summer it charts the close but volatile relationship between Charlie and Justin.
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Charlie is a London youngster who,with his friends,indulges in streaking and petty crime. However he aspires to better himself though his reckless friend Justin ruins his chances of working with his cousin Hector as an estate agent. Another of Charlie's friends Francis learns that his girlfriend has been unfaithful with the older Eddie and seeks revenge but ends up getting run over by Eddie. Justin steals a gun and drags a reluctant Charlie along to kill Eddie,though he only wounds him. The two boys end up on a roof with the police below before their fates are finally settled. Written by
don @ minifie-1
When Charlie and Justin attend Hector's party, they are seen taking the Central Line out into Essex, where Hector's mansion is supposedly located. They get off the train at Debden Station and are seen coming out of the main entrance and walking down the street. This scene was actually not filmed at Debden Station but at Ickenham Station, which is on the Metropolitan/Picadilly Line (as opposed to the Central) and in Middlesex (not Essex), which is on the other side of London, to the West rather than the East. Director Nick Love superimposed the word "Debden" over the "Ickenham" section of the sign, though quite why he chose to shoot the scene at Ickenham instead of Debden remains unclear. Ironically, it's unlikely that the boys would have used Debden to get to a house like Hector's anyway - if the house was supposedly in that part of Essex, it would have been more likely to have been somewhere like Chigwell. See more »
I got a copy of this film at a Prowler store in London last year because it was on the markdown table and any non-porno film going for 5 GBP that had three naked lads on the back cover seemed a bargain even if it would have to wait till I got my PAL friendly DVD player.
When I did finally get to see it I was quite happy that I picked it up, as it's the type of film that will never be released in the US NTSC format. Besides the format translation trouble, there's the trouble that all the lads live in council housing (the projects) in south London and speak a British dialect that would be very hard for an American ear to understand.
The story deals with Charlie Bright, and his boyhood pals Damien, Tommy, Francis and Justin. These lads have grown up together since they were toddlers and still spend most of their waking hours together, wasting time, pulling pranks, doing drugs and doing some thieving to pay for them. However they are now coming of age and drifting apart. Tommy has joined the army and is leaving soon; Francis has found a steady girl and is now drifting away from the guys. Damien is the most daring thief of the lot and `would do anything for a few quid but you could never trust him.' That leaves Charlie and Justin. Justin has grown up in an almost parent-free environment and has attached himself so tightly to Charlie since toddler hood that the neighbors have noticed the especially close relationship and have taken to referring to Justin, when talking to Charlie, as `the wife.'
While none of the boys exhibit any outwardly gay actions it is this `special friendship' between Justin and Charlie that gives this film its gay interest. Charlie is in fact straight and has interest in a girl living in the same council flats but is afraid to make the first move for fear that the ever-present Justin will somehow embarrass him or otherwise screw it up. Justin on the other hand is content to let things go on as they have and treats girls as a target for teasing just as he has done for years.
In the end Charlie loses his patience and does something that allows Justin to do things that will force the end of their close association. How much Justin perceives of Charlie's motives, as he smilingly carries out his end of the little drama is where the mystery and the brilliance of this piece lies. Straight folks have panned this film as being plot less and a `waste of lottery funds' but reading between the lines I saw a heartbreaking story that was original and memorable.
I'd be interested in knowing what others think if they ever see this unheralded movie.
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