7.0/10
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27 user 30 critic

The Navigators (2001)

Five Yorkshiremen try to survive after the British Rail is bought out by a private company.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John
...
Mick (as Tom Craig)
Joe Duttine ...
Paul
...
Jim
Venn Tracey ...
Gerry
Andy Swallow ...
Len
Sean Glenn ...
Harpic
Charlie Brown ...
Jack
Juliet Bates ...
Fiona
John Aston ...
Bill Walters
Graham Heptinstall ...
Owen
Angela Forrest ...
Tracy (as Angela Saville)
Clare McSwain ...
Lisa
Megan Topham ...
Chloe
Abigail Pearson ...
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Storyline

In South Yorkshire, a small group of railway maintenance men discover that because of privatization, their lives will never be the same. When the trusty British Rail sign is replaced by one reading East Midland Infrastructure, it is clear that there will be the inevitable winners and losers as downsizing and efficiency become the new buzzwords. A cheery camaraderie is soon replaced by uncertainty and turmoil when their depot manager fills them in on the details of the new arrangement. Privatization means that the customer now comes first, something that is instilled into the men in new training sessions. But there are inconsistencies and shortsightedness to the new ways. Men used to working together now find themselves belonging to different, competing companies. Some even have to tender for their old jobs. Others decide to take the redundancy packages offered by the firm. As always, corners are cut in the interest of lowering costs, leading to a series of misadventures. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

11 January 2002 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Demiryolcular  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,940 (USA) (21 February 2003)

Gross:

$1,940 (USA) (21 February 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The vest that John wears in the beginning (with the meter) and end (their last job), is actually a British Rail safety vest, over his Gilchrist coat (when he moves you can see the gray on it). He has the combination on before the company is renamed Gilchrist Engineering. See more »

Quotes

[Harpic is reading a briefing to his staff about the new rules under privatization]
Harpic: Oh, now listen, now this really *is* important: "Deaths must be kept to an acceptable level".
Gerry: What's "an acceptable level"?
Harpic: Er, "two a year".
Gerry: But nobody's been killed for the past eighteen months.
Jim: Any volunteers?
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User Reviews

 
Redundancies, privatisation of the British Rail ...is always Ken Loach
14 September 2001 | by (Milan - Italy) – See all my reviews

I was lucky to see during the festival of Venice in Milan this very recent film from the good "social" director Ken Loach.

A group of friends in 1995 work in the Yorkshire for the ex-state owned: British Rail, which meanwhile has been completely fragmented in a tremendous number of small private companies that compete one against the other in order to be more competitive and gain the different bids. This situation leads the whole structure of each private company to a very profitable organisation offering a very poor service that has to save money from any single item of the fixed/variable costs structure of the economic statement.

Loach this time points out the lost of the social benefits of the labour class in a blackmail black and white situation where, if they want to get the job, they have to leave with these conditions which do not guarantee any type of social and physical safety to the worker.

It is not by chance that England has been the frame of several train accidents during the last years.

Unions are getting weaker and weaker and the so called "trouble makers" are led to leave the companies. The whole film is nicely viewed with some very fine, pretty uncommon in previous Loach's films, British humour. The scene where the supervisor has to read to the workers the message from the top management of productivity and their new rights is hilarious and superbly performed.

Rating: 6/10


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