Margaret Thatcher's final days as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

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Margaret Thatcher's final days as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

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26 February 2009 (UK)  »

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Trivia

Stars three different actors who have played 18th Century novelist Henry Fielding; Ian McDiarmid in City of Vice (2008), John Sessions in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1997) and Nicholas Rowe in A Harlot's Progress (2006). See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film any time a telephone rang a soft electronic warble ring was used. Yet all telephones seen throughout the production are BT/GPO standard issue (of the day) Type 706's which had a mechanical bell ringer. See more »

Quotes

[Michael Heseltine has phoned Geoffrey Howe, ostensibly to say how sorry he is that Howe is resigning as Foreign Secretary. Having done this, he gets onto the real purpose of the phone call - a leadership challenge]
Michael Heseltine: [diffidently] Were I to stand... I mean, were that eventuality to arise... could I, would I be able to count on your support?
Geoffrey Howe: Michael, I think my position is probably best left... uncluttered by commitments of that kind.
Michael Heseltine: Of course.
[long pause]
Geoffrey Howe: Although... Should I have any further ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #4.110 (2009) See more »

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The Fall Of The Iron Lady
7 March 2010 | by (Durham Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I've read Margaret Thatcher's autobiography, and have always been especially taken with her own description of her last days as Prime Minister, as her own Conservative Party organized a coup to oust her, and I was curious to see how this fictionalized account would square with her personal account, The truth is that, essentially, the stories are pretty close. As might be expected, this docudrama isn't as sympathetic to Thatcher as her own autobiography was, but neither leave any doubt about the level of intrigue that existed within the Party and that led to her demise. Although much could be said about the story, the history books can essentially fill in the dreary political facts. What I can say about the movie is that no one comes off in a particularly positive light. Of Thatcher's rivals, Michael Heseltine (who's the arch- enemy in Thatcher's own work) probably comes off best as a guy who sincerely believes the Party is heading for disaster unless he leads it. John Major seems shifty and conniving, and most of the others seem simply weak. It's that very weakness, the movie suggests, that played a major role in Thatcher's downfall. Dominated by her for years, resentment among the senior Tories grew, and the back-benchers became disdainful of her lack of interest in and attention to them. So out of touch has Thatcher become that the movie suggests that she at one point entertained the possibility of handing over the leadership of the Party to someone else, while she herself stayed on as Prime Minister - which would have been impossible in the British system. Speaking as a Canadian, I found one very brief scene (which consisted of only a few words) also demonstrating how out of touch she had become. During an audience with the Queen, she refers to having met Brian Mulroney (a former Canadian Prime Minister) at an international gathering and then begins to explain to the Queen who he is. The Queen (who is also Queen of Canada) says coldly "I know who Brian Mulroney is."

This is a movie that will be of interest to anyone with an interest in British politics (or, really, politics in general.) It uses flashbacks to Thatcher's earlier career quite effectively, offers an interesting look at Thatcher's personal life (she comes across as rather cold and distant, particularly with her daughter Carol) and presents what is probably a very accurate reflection on the fact that loyalty in politics generally takes second place to one's own best interests. I will say that star Lindsay Duncan really didn't seem to capture Thatcher at first, but definitely grew into the role as the movie progressed. All in all, well done!


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