6.2/10
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40 user 45 critic

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002)

After seeing his ex-girlfriend (Henderson) turn down a nationally televised marriage proposal, a small-time crook (Carlyle) returns to his hometown to try and win back her heart.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jimmy
Vanessa Feltz ...
Vanessa
...
Charlie
...
Carol
Vicki Patterson ...
Audience Guest
...
Shirley
...
Marlene
Kelly Thresher ...
Donna
...
Dek
...
Donut
Ryan Bruce ...
Emerson
...
Lake
Anthony Strachan ...
Jumbo (as Antony Strachan)
David McKay ...
Dougy (as David Mckay)
...
Billy
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Storyline

Originally from the Midlands, Jimmy is currently living in Glasgow eking out a living as a hapless petty crook. One day, he sees his old family and friends - including his older foster sister Carol, her boyfriend/his old buddy Charlie, Jimmy's ex-wife and Carol's best friend Shirley, and Jimmy's pre-teen daughter Marlene - on a television talk show, they baring their souls to a national audience. He has not seen any of them in years. Of note on the show, Shirley rejects the marriage proposal of her slightly awkward live-in boyfriend Dek. Jimmy sees her answer to Dek as a reason to head back to the Midlands to reunite with his past, especially with Shirley and Marlene. Dek, already humiliated, is less than thrilled to see Jimmy back in their lives. In the ensuing duel between Jimmy and Dek for Shirley and Marlene's affections, others get caught up in the crossfire. Meanwhile, three of Jimmy's equally hapless crook friends from Glasgow come looking for him, Jimmy who left them high and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A tinned spaghetti western

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 September 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bilo jednom na srednjem zapadu  »

Box Office

Budget:

£1,950,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£129,920 (UK) (6 September 2002)

Gross:

$171,830 (USA) (12 December 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Dek (Rhys Ifans) finds out that Jimmy (Robert Carlyle), is back in town, he proclaims to Carol: "He's only your foster brother! He could have Hannibal Lecter's DNA for all we know! Rhys Ifans went on to portray Grutas, Hannibal Lecter's nemesis, in Hannibal Rising (2007). See more »

Quotes

Dek: You've never been in a serious car wreck.
Donna: Neither have you.
Dek: I had a car door this close, this close to my eye. It was a near death experience.
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Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... the People of Carlton and Gedling, Nottingham ... See more »

Connections

References The Right Stuff (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballroom Blitz
(1974)
Music by Mike Chapman
Lyrics by Nicky Chinn (as Nicky Chinn)
Published by Chinnichap Music/BMG Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by Sweet
Licensed courtesy of RCA Records & BMG Entertainment International UK & Ireland Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
Meadows' worst film.. but still better than average
14 September 2006 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

Shane Meadows' first film, 'TwentyFour Seven', was dark, intense and arty; his second, 'A Room for Romeo Brass', is one my favourite movies, atmospheric, wildly funny and moving. But this, his third film, is not quite as brilliant, and indeed Meadows has acknowledged it as something of a wrong turn. Compared to it's predecessors, the mood is less claustrophobic, the humour a bit broader brush, and ultimately the movie is less poignant. Perhaps part of the problem is that whereas one of the highlights of Meadows' earlier films were the brilliant performances he coaxed out of largely unknown actors (Bob Hoskins was just about the only name of note in them), this film features a regular gallery of Brit-acting talent: Robert Carlyle, Kathy Burke, Ricky Tomslinson and Rhys Ifans. And while I have enjoyed movies featuring all of these actors, it's a bit hard, especially in the case of Tomlinson, to really see them in their roles, as opposed to as themselves. Sometimes, they almost seem to be performing too hard to fit into Meadows' sparsely filmed backdrops. One can also note that the cod-western theme is pursued with insufficient vigour to really define the movie. I don't want to be too harsh on the film overall, because there are still some very funny moments and excellent acting from Shirley Henderson and the young Finn Atkins. But it's certainly less ambitious than its two predecessors, which set the highest of standards by which to judge their successors.


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