Screen Two (1985–2002)
7.3/10
2,804
25 user 21 critic

The Firm 

This is the story of rival "Firms" of football supporters, and how one man has a wish to team them up for the European Championships of 1988. However, when this is discussed, the opposing ... See full summary »

Director:

Alan Clarke

Writer:

Al Ashton (as Al Hunter)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Edit

Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Oldman ... Bex Bissell
Lesley Manville ... Sue
Phil Davis ... Yeti (as Philip Davis)
Andrew Wilde ... Oboe
Charles Lawson ... Trigg
William Vanderpuye William Vanderpuye ... Aitch
Jay Simpson ... Dominic
Patrick Murray Patrick Murray ... Nunk
Robbie Gee ... Snowy
Terry Sue-Patt Terry Sue-Patt ... Yusef (as Terry Sue Patt)
Nick Dunning ... Simon
Nicholas Hewetson Nicholas Hewetson ... Beef
Steve McFadden Steve McFadden ... Billy
Steve Sweeney ... J.T
Hepburn Graham Hepburn Graham ... Stu
Edit

Storyline

This is the story of rival "Firms" of football supporters, and how one man has a wish to team them up for the European Championships of 1988. However, when this is discussed, the opposing leaders are not happy, as they believe this is a challenge to their authority. This Film shows how football violence has progressed from pure violence to a form of organized crime, to the extent that all the leaders know each others home phone / mobile phone numbers. Written by Darren Alexander <Darren@lerman.ftech.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 1989 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Oldman and Lesley Manville, who play husband and wife in this film, were married at the time. See more »

Goofs

The crew meet opposite King's Cross station in London before they travel to Birmingham. Euston station is the usual station for that destination. King's Cross serves the north east of England. See more »

Quotes

J.TBillySimonBeef: [singing, in the tune of "This Old Man"] Hornchurch boys, we are here, fuck your women and drink your beer, la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! Hornchurch boys are big and strong!
See more »

Connections

References First Blood (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Hornchurch Boys
(uncredited)
sung to the tune of "Nick Nack Paddy Whack"
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The car bombing, the testosterone, and not a ball in sight
27 March 2000 | by Lexo-2See all my reviews

Different from the similarly-entitled Tom Cruise vehicle in much the same way that a punch in the head is different from a solicitor's letter, this is where the late great Alan Clarke - Britain's best TV director and perhaps the best British director of the 70s and 80s - finally got to work with Gary Oldman. Oldman is Bex, leader of a gang of football hooligans. His crew go head-to-head with another bunch of guys from Birmingham. That's pretty much the story.

The insight, for which respect must be paid to screenwriter Al Ashton, is that these guys aren't poor white trash but professional men. Bex is an estate agent and when we first meet him he is selling a house to a couple by admitting to them frankly that it's rubbish. He shows them in and says "If this house don't sell itself I'm a monkey's uncle." Then he walks away down the path and, for a moment, scratches his armpits and gibbers like a chimp - an inspired bit of improv from Oldman.

This was Oldman before he got into his period of being an American Ham - sharp, keenly observational and immensely likeable even though the character he's playing is a complete scumbag. There's a lot of violence, and violence in a Clarke film isn't a rowdy punchup, it's Stanley knives in the face and iron bars in the groin. A gun gets used towards the end, which I personally found a bit unrealistic.

One of the most remarkable things about this movie is that at no point do you actually see a football. These guys aren't football fans, they're in it for the fighting. They were the energies that Margaret Thatcher unleashed and then affected to deplore. Guys like Bexy own much of Britain now.

When Oldman got tired of acting in bad American cop thrillers, he showed what he'd learned from Clarke by making Nil By Mouth. The boy done good. The Firm was Clarke's last film; a year later he was dead from cancer. Don't miss it.


17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed