7.0/10
2,210
27 user 31 critic

The Navigators (2001)

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

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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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 ...
Eve
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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

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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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

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

Fiona: [Gerry playing chess against himself after everyone leaves] Ah who's winning?
Gerry: Checkmate.
Fiona: Checkmate, what's that mean?
Gerry: What ever move you make, you lose.
Fiona: [chuckles] Story of my life.
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User Reviews

 
gritty and often hard to watch
20 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

This film was very underseen in the USA, though many consider it one of Loach's finest. As a traveler who has seen firsthand what privatization is doing to the UK transportation system, this film struck me as grittily authentic.

As with so many of his films, Loach chooses to address social ills by exploring their effects upon working class characters. But not every plot point has to do with the topic at hand, and that is why the films work well, because the narrative has a life of its own driven by these characters (most of them quite likable although flawed) that goes beyond its "message."


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