IMDb > Vera Drake (2004)
Vera Drake
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Vera Drake (2004) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 17 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Vera Drake -- London, 1950: Vera Drake lives with her husband Stan and their grown-up children, Sid and Ethel. They are not rich, but they are a happy, close family.
Vera Drake -- Theatrical Preview


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7.7/10   19,564 votes »
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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Mike Leigh (written by)
View company contact information for Vera Drake on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 February 2005 (USA) See more »
Wife. Mother. Criminal.
Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 30 nominations See more »
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  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Imelda Staunton ... Vera
Richard Graham ... George

Eddie Marsan ... Reg
Anna Keaveney ... Nellie
Alex Kelly ... Ethel

Daniel Mays ... Sid

Philip Davis ... Stan (as Phil Davis)

Lesley Manville ... Mrs. Wells

Sally Hawkins ... Susan

Simon Chandler ... Mr. Wells

Sam Troughton ... David

Marion Bailey ... Mrs. Fowler
Sandra Voe ... Vera's Mother

Chris O'Dowd ... Sid's Customer

Adrian Scarborough ... Frank
Heather Craney ... Joyce

Sinead Matthews ... Very Young Woman (as Sinéad Matthews)
Sid Mitchell ... Very Young Man

Leo Bill ... Ronny

Gerard Monaco ... Kenny

Ruth Sheen ... Lily
Tilly Vosburgh ... Mother of Seven

Alan Williams ... Sick Husband
Heather Cameron-McLintock ... Child (as Heather Cameron)
Billie Cook ... Child
Billy Seymour ... Child
Nina Fry ... Dance Hall Girl
Lauren Holden ... Dance Hall Girl

Elizabeth Berrington ... Cynical Lady
Emma Amos ... Cynical Lady

Fenella Woolgar ... Susan's Confidante
Joanna Griffiths ... Peggy
Wendy Nottingham ... Ivy
Nicky Henson ... Private Doctor

Allan Corduner ... Psychiatrist
Angie Wallis ... Nurse Willoughby
Judith Scott ... Sister Beech

Vinette Robinson ... Jamaican Girl
Rosie Cavaliero ... Married Woman

Lesley Sharp ... Jessie Barnes

Liz White ... Pamela Barnes
Anthony O'Donnell ... Mr. Walsh
Lucy Pleasance ... Sister Coombes
Tracy O'Flaherty ... Nurse

Peter Wight ... Det. Inspector Webster

Martin Savage ... Det. Sergeant Vickers
Helen Coker ... WPC Best

Tom Ellis ... Police Constable
Robert Putt ... Station Sergeant

Craig Conway ... Station Constable

Jake Wood ... Ruffian

Vincent Franklin ... Mr. Lewis
Michael Gunn ... Gaoler

Paul Jesson ... Magistrate
Paul Raffield ... Magistrate's Clerk

Jim Broadbent ... Judge
Philip Childs ... Clerk
Jeffry Wickham ... Prosecution Barrister

Nicholas Jones ... Defence Barrister
Stephan Dunbar ... Usher
Angela Curran ... Prisoner
Jane Wood ... Prisoner

Eileen Davies ... Prison Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniel Hatkoff ... Dancer (uncredited)
David House ... Dancer (uncredited)

James Payton ... Court Reporter (uncredited)

Georgie Smith ... Dancer (uncredited)
Sarah Strachan ... Ballroom Dancer (uncredited)
Ulla Virtanen ... Visitor at the hospital (uncredited)

John Warman ... Policeman in Court (uncredited)

Directed by
Mike Leigh 
Writing credits
Mike Leigh (written by)

Produced by
Simon Channing Williams .... producer
Gail Egan .... executive producer
Christine Gozlan .... executive producer
Robert Jones .... executive producer
Georgina Lowe .... co-producer
Duncan Reid .... executive producer
Alain Sarde .... producer
Original Music by
Andrew Dickson 
Cinematography by
Dick Pope (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jim Clark 
Casting by
Nina Gold 
Production Design by
Eve Stewart 
Art Direction by
Andrew Grant 
Ed Walsh 
Set Decoration by
John Bush 
Costume Design by
Jacqueline Durran 
Makeup Department
Christine Blundell .... hair designer
Christine Blundell .... makeup designer
Charmaine Fuller .... makeup assistant
Julius Goosen .... makeup assistant
Kerry Scourfield .... makeup artist
Lesa Warrener .... makeup artist
Julia Wilson .... makeup assistant
Production Management
Danielle Brandon .... production manager
Steve Harrow .... post-production supervisor
Steve Mason .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rob Burgess .... additional third assistant director (as Robert Burgess)
Sarah Coombs .... third assistant director
Merry Irwin .... third assistant director
Dan John .... second assistant director
Toby Leigh .... additional third assistant director
Samantha Smith McGrady .... additional third assistant director (as Samantha Smith)
Darren Price .... set third assistant director
Josh Robertson .... first assistant director
Nick Shuttleworth .... additional second assistant director
Hayley Williams .... second assistant director
Art Department
Peter Agbaba .... stagehand
Vince Bartlett .... props runaround (as Vince Bartlet)
Alan Briant .... prop storeman (as Alan D Briant)
Tanya Clark .... assistant art director
Mark Collisson .... construction manager
Hannastina Crick .... additional painter
Gary Davies .... stagehand
Ken Davy .... painter (as Ken Davey)
Jonathan Downing .... dressing props
Andrew Forrest .... stand-by props (as Andy Forrest)
Dave Hill .... carpenter
Richard Lloyd Jones .... dressing props
Rowanna Lacey .... art department assistant
Jo Littlejohn .... art department coordinator
Leon McCarthy .... stand-by carpenter
Richard Mills .... property master
Rebecca Neville .... stand-by props
Justin Overhill .... stand-by painter
Marko Pavlovic .... additional painter (as Marko Pavolic)
Gary Peed .... dressing props
Joseph Raynes .... additional painter
Tom Read .... stand-by art director
Don Santos .... dressing props
Terry Stinson .... dressing props
Andrew 'Monty' Wilson .... dressing props
Rhona Wilson .... production buyer
Sound Department
Georgina Adams .... trainee: FT2
Tom Barrow .... sound assistant
Chris Burdon .... sound re-recording mixer
Peter Burgess .... foley walker (as Pete Burgess)
Paul Carr .... adr mixer
Andie Derrick .... foley walker (as Andi Derrick)
Robert Farr .... foley mixer
Tim Fraser .... sound recordist
Peter Gleaves .... adr mixer
Loveday Harding .... sound maintenance
Zane Hayward .... sound effects editor
Adrian Rhodes .... sound re-recording mixer
Nigel Stone .... supervising sound editor
John Warhurst .... sound editor
Denise Yarde .... additional boom operator
Doug Cooper .... foley recordist (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Sally Clayton .... production supervisor: Digital Cinema at VTR
Mike Fraser .... consultant: Digital Cinema at VTR
Safiya Gili .... combustion artist: Digital Cinema at VTR (as Saffia Ravat)
Danny Pagan .... data coordinator: Digital Cinema at VTR
Tom Russell .... colourist: Digital Cinema at VTR
Rod Shelton .... producer: Digital Cinema at VTR
James Tillett .... film recording supervisor: Digital Cinema at VTR
Laurent Treherne .... data supervisor: Digital Cinema at VTR
Tom Russell .... digital intermediate colourist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Lucy Bristow .... second camera operator
Lee Eldred .... electrician
Avelino Fernandez .... electrician
Neil Flaherty .... trainee: FT2
John Hanks .... additional rigger
Simon Mein .... still photographer
Brian Miller .... generator operator
Les Mills .... additional rigger
Matthew Moffat .... gaffer
Andy Ormesher .... stand-by rigger
Dick Pope .... camera operator
James Scott .... second assistant camera
Gordon Segrove .... first assistant camera
Dan Shoring .... second assistant camera
Martin Smith .... best boy
Colin Strachan .... grip
Joe McGee .... practical electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Rosalie Clayton .... casting assistant
Tamara Gillon .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jennifer Alford .... costume maker
Sue Bradbear .... seamstress (as Sue Bradbeer)
Sallyann Dicksee .... costume assistant (as Sally Ann Dicksee)
Julia Dollimore .... costume assistant
Charlotte Finlay .... costume supervisor
Sophie Finlay .... costume assistant
Andrew Fletcher .... costume assistant
Frank Gallacher .... costume assistant
Laura Grace .... wardrobe mistress
Jenny Hawkins .... costume assistant
Steve Hyams .... costume assistant
Gabriella Loria .... costume buyer
Helen Mattocks .... costume design assistant
Sara Meek .... costume assistant
Jane Petrie .... costume assistant
Gaetano Speranza .... assistant costume designer
Rachele Verrecchia .... costume assistant
Celia Yau .... stand-by costume assistant
Camille Benda .... costume assistant (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Gavin Buckley .... first assistant editor
Clive Noakes .... color grader
Steve Farman .... negative cutter (uncredited)
Neil Stenhouse .... rushes operator (uncredited)
Music Department
Ben Bevan .... vocal coordinator
Nick Bicât .... conductor
Helen Keen .... musician: bass flute
Fiesta Mei Ling .... music preparation
Gerry O'Riordan .... music engineer
Step Parikian .... music supervisor
Lucy Wakeford .... musician: harp
Rosemary Warren-Green .... musician: viola
Stacey Watton .... musician: double bass
Transportation Department
Glen Anderson .... driver: costume vehicle
Kevin Bennett .... driver: minibus
Luke Chisholm .... driver: camera/grips (as Luke Chisolm)
Dave Coker .... driver: props
Martyn Giles .... unit driver
John McMeekin .... driver: construction department
Mark Williams .... unit driver
Other crew
Chris Allies .... title designer
Alison Brister .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Claire Broughton .... assistant to producer
Danny Brown .... facilities captain
Judith Chan .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Dom Channing-Williams .... production runner (as Dominic Channing Williams)
Terry Charman .... advisor: world war II
Graham Easton .... completion bond: Film Finance Ltd.
Mandy Edwards .... location assistant
Jonathan Evans .... advisor: medical history
Will Evans .... liaison: The UK Film Council
Jeffrey Gordon .... advisor: legal history
Vince Holden .... liaison: The UK Film Council
John Jaggon .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Paula Jalfon .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Ali James .... location scout
Francesca Jaynes .... choreographer
Victoria King .... solicitor: Richards Butler
Rowan Laidlaw .... additional runner
Neil Lee .... location manager
David Lewisohn .... solicitor: Richards Butler
Clive Loveless .... advisor: motor car
Andrew MacLean .... assistant accountant
Sarah McBryde .... production coordinator
Justin Miller .... assistant accountant
Fiona Morham .... liaison: The UK Film Council
Clive Noakes .... laboratory contact
Brock Norman Brock .... liaison: The UK Film Council
Richard Philipps .... solicitor: Richards Butler
Jonathan Rutter .... publicist: McDonald & Rutter
Roger Sampson .... insurance: Aon/Albert G. Ruben
Alain Sarde .... presenter
Joy Scott .... additional runner
Ray Seal .... advisor: police history
Heather Storr .... script supervisor
Peter Touche .... liaison: Ingenious Films
Will Tyler .... production accountant
Doug Vale .... unit medic
Tamara Walsh .... trainee: FT2
Lucy Whitton .... researcher
Matthew Woolf .... location scout
Henry Woolley .... location manager
Richard Rowntree .... assistant: Steve Harrow (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for depiction of strong thematic material
125 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:14 | Canada:14A (Ontario) | Czech Republic:15 | Finland:K-11 | France:U | Germany:12 (f) | Iceland:L | Ireland:15 | Netherlands:AL | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Sweden:11 | Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Zurich) | Taiwan:PG-12 | UK:12A (original rating) | UK:12 (video rating) (2005) | USA:R
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Filmed with no script, the film went on to be nominated for Best Original Screenplay for 2005 Oscar. Mike Leigh said that he "had to prepare the screenplay so it can be sent out to academy members. But actually the screenplay that was nominated doesn't exist. The film is the screenplay."See more »
Anachronisms: Vera's sister-in-law Joyce says she wants a washing machine which costs "twenty five pounds". Until decimalization in 1971, most luxury goods (such as washing machines and men's suits) were priced in guineas not pounds. Interestingly, in the film the cost of the abortion is expressed as two guineas. (One guinea = one pound one shilling, equivalent to one pound five pence in decimal.) This was true for some outlets, particularly those wishing to appeal to the middle class or those aspiring to a degree of 'poshness'. Throughout the 1960s most domestic items were priced in £.s.d or Pounds, shillings and pence. Services and professions continued to charge in guineas as an affectation until much later.See more »
[first lines]
Vera:Hello George, only me. How are you going today?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Salut D'Amour (Liebesgruss), Op.12See more »


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127 out of 144 people found the following review useful.
10/10, 20 November 2004
Author: desperateliving from Canada

Along with Abbas Kiarostami, Mike Leigh must be the finest film artist now living. He sets up the story here very smartly; it's Altmanesque the way that the lives intertwine. And like Altman, the film has an observational style (the camera sits still as people walk about the house), though without his cynical humor. (There is one comic relief character, however, who Vera's son measures for tailoring.) The story is craftily put-together -- Leigh, for all his realism, isn't above cinema: he's not against creating a scene. His entire movie is a build-up to individual looks and faces; one especially fine scene is laid out incredibly well: we see a car pull up outside; inside, we get the news that someone is going to have a baby; then a knock at the door... What sets him apart from many so-called realists is that he's not an inept moviemaker. Even though a number of the scenes are complete of themselves and incredibly well-wrought, none of them are "scenes"; the only hint of cinematic flair that Leigh indulges in are the recurring motifs of heavenly music. The film is not traditional realism in terms of acting, either -- the actors all have a very distinct look that has to do with the way they're shot, but each character, each actor, seems alive in such a way that isn't theatrical or exaggerated or false, but still animated. There is an unflinching dedication to emotional consistency and detail (such as the mechanics of the abortions), but it always remains humane (without ever turning sentimental); when one woman is raped, Leigh doesn't linger on the scene, he doesn't really even show anything.

Leigh makes few political points in the film. (No doubt conservatives would see the film as a horror story, this woman creeping around from house to house.) It is not an "issue" movie. It is much more about families and people, and how they support one of their own; it could just as easily about someone accused of child molestation, or who assisted suicides. The miracle of the film is that the catalyst for the emotional breakdown, the abortions, aren't just a device, they're a whole, complete film in their own right. It's what gives certain images such immediate, painful power. His film, planned as it is, consists of events that are completely random and unforeseeable to the characters, even though we, the audience expect them (it only serves to make them more devastating that we see it coming). We see an abortion; we see a couple get engaged; we see a rape; we see that someone is expecting a baby. Leigh has empathy for everyone in the film, and with the exception of three women -- Vera's sister in law, the woman who procures Vera's "patients," and the mother of one of the girls who she performs an abortion for -- he doesn't turn anyone into a villain. Even one horrific psychiatrist interview grows into something where we realize, haughty as he is, he's not exactly "out to get" this girl who wants help (although the scene hits home the difference involved in getting abortions performed by doctors and on the street).

Sometimes the film is a little too obvious, as when Vera's son can't deal with what she's done, effectively sticking the knife in her (and us). And you could complain that Staunton, in the second half, is ordered to put on a blank face, as if she's had a stroke. But it's a simple view to see her as a smiling happy person in the first part and then a wrecked creature in the second -- there is always something interesting in her performance, completely aside from the looks on her face (one such, when the police ask to see her, is the best image of the human face in years). In the beginning she uses her teeth in a very interesting way, and though she's referred to as a woman with a heart of gold (and while I'm not saying she isn't) there's something more in her performance, something indescribable -- it's why she never stops to comfort the women she "helps out." What prevents the film from being a display of the miserable, like Lars von Trier at his worst, is Leigh's innate connection to the legacy of the great humanists, that of hope -- not false, optimistic hope, but hope in something bigger (and more intimate): the human soul. 10/10

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