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The Iron Lady (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  13 January 2012 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 75,024 users   Metascore: 54/100
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An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Brown ...
Alice da Cunha ...
Phoebe Waller-Bridge ...
Victoria Bewick ...
Muriel Roberts
Emma Dewhurst ...
Beatrice Roberts
Hostess 1949
Host 1949
Stephanie Jacob ...
Female Guest 1949
Grey Suited Guest 1949


Elderly and a virtual prisoner in her own home due to her concerned staff and daughter Carol, Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first woman prime minister, looks back on her life as she clears out her late husband Denis's clothes for the Oxfam shop. Denis is seen as being her rock as she first enters parliament and then runs for the leadership of the Conservative Party, culminating in her eventual premiereship. Now his ghost joins her to comment on her successes and failures, sometimes to her annoyance, generally to her comfort until ultimately, as the clothes are sent to the charity shop, Denis departs from Margaret's life forever. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Never compromise

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 January 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La dama de hierro  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$220,409 (USA) (30 December 2011)


$29,959,436 (USA) (20 April 2012)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Streep prepared for the role by spending months watching broadcasts of Margaret Thatcher, to learn her mannerisms and speech. She also spoke with dozens of people who knew her, including former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, who faced Thatcher in the House of Commons for seven years. See more »


In the film, Labour leader Michael Foot opposes the decision to send a task force to the Falkland Islands, and Margaret Thatcher admonishes him in the House of Commons following Britain's victory over Argentina. Charles Moore's authorized biography of Thatcher clearly states that Foot supported her on the Falklands, and she emerged from the conflict with renewed personal admiration for him, despite their profound disagreements on most political issues. See more »


Young Denis Thatcher: Margaret, will you marry me?
[a pause, Margaret stares at him]
Young Denis Thatcher: Well?
Young Margaret Thatcher: [Margaret is still staring, Denis kisses her hand] Yes. Yes!
Young Denis Thatcher: [Margaret starts to cry from happiness, Denis leans in for a kiss, but she suddenly pulls back] What?
Young Margaret Thatcher: I love you so much but, I will never be one of those women, Denis. Who stays silent and pretty on the arm of her husband. Or remote and alone in the kitchen - doing the washing up, for that matter.
Young Denis Thatcher: [interrupts] I'm going to help with that...
Young Margaret Thatcher: No. One's life must matter, ...
See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Lucky One (2012) See more »


Well Tempered Clavier: Prelude in C Major
(Johann Sebastian Bach (as JS Bach))
Performed by Daniel Barenboim
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

Meryl Streep gives a spectacular performance in a flawed, but great biopic
30 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before viewing, "The Iron Lady", I didn't really know much about Margaret Thatcher. Other than she was the prime minister of England for 11 years, she was a very controversial figure and still is to this day. So I was really interested to see the film and I decided to visit the WGA screening.

Now let me begin by saying, Meryl Streep embodies Margaret Thatcher. She doesn't just look like her, but she talks like her, her facial expressions are spot on. Meryl Streep becomes Margaret Thatcher. I would be shocked if she doesn't win an Oscar for this performance. The supporting cast is good too, Jim Broadbent gives an excellent performance, everyone is just great.

However aside from the top notch acting, the movie had a few flaws. The story was uninteresting at times, the flashback scenes were a bit muddled and a little confusing. The movie felt a little too safe, it tried too hard, not to be controversial. Although I don't entirely blame the film itself for that. Margaret Thatcher was such a decisive person, that whichever side the film picked, it would be criticized by a lot of people. I guess the film ultimately achieved the goal.

I also liked the movie didn't dwell too much on the politics, but on the character of Margaret Thatcher. We see the human side of The Iron Lady herself, beyond all the partisan politics and rumors, we get to see a very personal and sad side of her. The subplot focusing on Thacther's grief over her husband's death, as the older version battles with hallucinations and an unwillingness to let go of her dear Denis are heartbreaking.

Overall the movie was really well done, but just shy of greatness. Meryl Streep's performance and the supporting cast, truly elevates the film into a great biopic. Although I wished a little more time was spent on focusing on her political life, the movie successfully showed a deep and moving side of the prime minister. Which a lot of biopics fail to do. Whatever your opinions might be on Margaret Thatcher, don't fault the movie because of the opinion. And I highly respect Phyllida LLoyd, Meryl Streep, Abi Morgan and others for trying to portray such a decisive and highly controversial figure.

217 of 327 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
SHOULD be called: The woman that saved Britain eckythump70
Dreadful! jglapin
Problems with the script's structure Cali7
In 2050, the UK economy won't even be in the top 5 Froggy_Bottom
What a foreigner learns from this movie scovazze
Question about the daughter's accent jonnyboy88
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