IMDb > Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (2008) (TV)

Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (2008) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley -- Young Margaret wants nothing more than to be Prime Minister, but may be too much of a rebel for the Conservative Party of the 1950s. This drama delves into young Margaret's steely determination to get selected as a member of parliament. The road to power is not easy, but Margaret's ambition is unstinting and she firmly believes a woman's place can be in the House as well as the home.


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Tony Saint (written by)
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Release Date:
12 June 2008 (UK) See more »
A light-hearted retelling of the true story of future prime minister Margaret Thatcher, during the fifties when, working as a research chemist, she begins her attempts to be selected for parliament, and meets her future husband Dennis. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
4 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Thatcher: the early years See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Andrea Riseborough ... Margaret Thatcher

Philip Jackson ... Alfred Roberts
Michael Gould ... John Miller

Jonathan Aris ... Stanley Soward

Rory Kinnear ... Denis Thatcher

Samuel West ... Ted Heath

Lydia Leonard ... Joyce
Marcia Warren ... Old Dear

Michael Cochrane ... Sir Waldron Smithers

Sylvestra Le Touzel ... Patricia Hornsby-Smith

Christian Rodska ... Lieutenant Colonel Digby

Robert Whitelock ... Bert
Geoffrey McGivern ... Dartford Returning Officer / TV & Radio Announcer (as Geoff McGivern)
James Laurenson ... Leslie Thomas
Claire Vousden ... Nanny
Rob Edwards ... Hemel Member / John Wells / Sumner
Geoffrey Whitehead ... Entwistle / Lt Col Allason

Kim Wall ... Lichfield / Horsfield / Orpington Member
Angela Sims ... Beckenham Constituent

Michael Selwood ... Mark Thatcher
Julia Joyce ... Carol Thatcher

Oliver Ford Davies ... Sir Donald Kaberry

Geoffrey Palmer ... Sir John Crowder
Georgie Glen ... Miss Harris
Jeremy Child ... Langton
Geoffrey Beevers ... Head Panellist - Finchley
Elizabeth Bennett ... Doreen / Interviewer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aaron King ... Conservative MP

Greg Bennett ... Tory (uncredited)

Directed by
Niall MacCormick 
Writing credits
Tony Saint (written by)

Produced by
Madonna Baptiste .... producer
Robert Cooper .... executive producer
Celia Duval .... line producer
Bethan Jones .... executive producer: BBC
Kate Triggs .... executive producer
Original Music by
Srdjan Kurpjel 
Marios Takoushis  (as Mario Takoushis)
Cinematography by
Jan Jonaeus (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Anthony Combes 
Casting by
Rachel Freck 
Production Design by
Simon Beresford 
Art Direction by
Andrew Rothschild 
Set Decoration by
Sophia Chowdhury 
Costume Design by
Charlotte Holdich 
Makeup Department
Christine Allsopp .... hair designer
Christine Allsopp .... makeup designer
Tori Robinson .... hair stylist
Tori Robinson .... makeup artist
Alex Rouse .... wigmaker
Rupert Simon .... additional hair stylist
Rupert Simon .... additional makeup artist
Helen Speyer .... hair stylist
Helen Speyer .... makeup artist
Jeanette Redmond .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
James Alexander .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kas Braganza .... first assistant director
Emily Perowne .... third assistant director
Rachael Speed .... second assistant director
Art Department
Chris Felstead .... stand-by props
John Hemsley .... stand-by art director
Caroline Howard .... assistant art director
Kieron Mcnamara .... dressing props
John Palmer .... dressing props
Trine Taraldsvik .... art department trainee
Keith Vowles .... property master
Stuart Walpole .... stand-by props
Rose Windsor .... assistant set dresser
Sound Department
Howard Bargroff .... dubbing mixer
Christian Bourne .... sound maintenance engineer
Patrick Dodd .... dialogue editor
Mustafa Durma .... foley recordist
Simon Farmer .... sound recordist
Dado Jehan .... foley artist (as Dado Dzihan)
Gareth Rhys Jones .... foley artist
Andrea Kurpjel .... sound facility manager
Danton Tanimura .... sound editor
Burak Topalakci .... sound editor
Sacha Walker .... sound editor
Srdjan Kurpjel .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Laurence Cendrowicz .... still photographer
Trevor Chaisty .... electrician
Mark Maidment .... focus puller
Bob Milton .... best boy (as Robert Milton)
Jamie Phillips .... clapper loader
Aaron Reid .... camera trainee
Steve Scoble .... grip
Andrew Taylor .... gaffer
Gareth Williams .... electrician
Casting Department
Karen Maxwell .... casting assistant (as Karen Goddard)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Warren Haigh .... costume trainee
Mary Judge .... costume supervisor
Sue Peck .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Alejandro Aldana .... assistant editor
Clyde Kellett .... on-line editor
Sonny Sheridan .... colorist
Transportation Department
Barry Stevenson .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Lynne Curran .... dance coordinator
Angus Finlayson .... floor runner
Sarah Garner .... script supervisor
Alan Gavin .... production accountant
Maree Gecks .... production coordinator
Stefan Kaday .... production office assistant
Jed Leventhall .... production executive
Paul Murphy .... assistant production accountant
Simon Nixon .... location manager
Julie Scott .... production executive: BBC
Jack Timbrell .... production runner

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
84 min

Did You Know?

In the opening titles, the play was subtitled "How Margaret might have done it".See more »
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17 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Thatcher: the early years, 13 June 2008
Author: farne from England

Originally shown as part of a season of programmes on Margaret Thatcher on BBC4, The Long Walk to Finchley presents a very different view of one of British politics most divisive figures. Here we see her not as the strident leader of the 1980s, but as an underdog, in her early years as a prospective Parliamentary candidate. Trying to gain election to Parliament in the 1950s, she is the victim of the establishment, the old boy network, and most especially of prejudice against her as a woman. The film gets across very well her tenacity in fighting for constituency after constituency before finally being selected for the safe seat of Finchley.

Tony Saint's script is actually surprisingly light hearted, full of in-jokes and random innuendo, some of which is quite funny. There are many sly references to future events in Thatcher's life - about to dance with Ted Heath, her predecessor as Conservative leader in the 1970s, she says "You Lead, I'll follow"; Mark Thatcher as a boy says to his mother "Can I go to Africa one day? I won't cause any trouble" (a reference to his becoming lost in the desert in the 1980s); Thatcher to a French waiter "I want a refund; I want my money back!" (EU rebate), etc.

The performances are generally good, especially Andrea Riseborough who successfully captures some of Thatcher's mannerisms and especially her speech, without ever sounded like a straightforward impersonation. More surprisingly, she also captures Thatcher's flirtiness as a young woman, and presents her quite sympathetically. Rory Kinnear's successfully suggest Denis Thatcher's long-suffering nature, while Samuel West is very good as Edward Heath, capturing his essential awkwardness and unsociability. Heath is seen uncomfortably standing by while Thatcher grabs the limelight during the election, or struggling to make small talk while she wins over a luncheon club meeting. The film is quite mischievous in suggesting Thatcher propositioned Heath for, we assume, some kind of political or actual marriage. But there's no evidence for this and it shouldn't be taken too seriously. Like Thatcher, Heath wasn't part of the establishment and he isn't portrayed entirely unsympathetically here, although the script does get some laughs at his expense. After Heath likens a political party to an orchestra and suggests that all elements should work together (implying that Thatcher is too dominant), one of the luncheon club ladies asks the eternal bachelor innocently, "Is that why you prefer playing with your organ alone, Mr Heath?"

The film caused a bit of controversy before it was even finished because Thatcher was apparently going to deploy the F word at one point, in frustration at not being selected for Parliament. In the end she says "Damn the establishment", rather than anything stronger, which is a wise choice. A woman of Thatcher's "respectable" middle class methodist background probably wouldn't have even heard such language in the '50s, but this is something that has cropped up in other recent BBC dramas, including BBC4's The Curse of Steptoe, where period characters don't always use period language.

The Long Walk to Finchley is actually quite entertaining, with the 1950s world of constituency meetings, chaps with pipes, open top sports cars and smoky back rooms, quite successfully evoked. The random jokes can be quite funny (even the title is a sly political reference). But it can be most easily recommended to those with a rough knowledge of, and interest in, British politics of the last 40 years or so.

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