7.0/10
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27 user 30 critic

The Navigators (2001)

Five Yorkshiremen try to survive after the British Rail is bought out by a private company.

Director:

Ken Loach

Writer:

Rob Dawber
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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dean Andrews ... John
Thomas Craig ... Mick (as Tom Craig)
Joe Duttine Joe Duttine ... Paul
Steve Huison ... Jim
Venn Tracey Venn Tracey ... Gerry
Andy Swallow Andy Swallow ... Len
Sean Glenn Sean Glenn ... Harpic
Charlie Brown Charlie Brown ... Jack
Juliet Bates Juliet Bates ... Fiona
John Aston John Aston ... Bill Walters
Graham Heptinstall Graham Heptinstall ... Owen
Angela Forrest Angela Forrest ... Tracy (as Angela Saville)
Clare McSwain Clare McSwain ... Lisa
Megan Topham Megan Topham ... Chloe
Abigail Pearson Abigail Pearson ... Eve
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Storyline

In South Yorkshire, a small group of railway maintenance men discover that because of privatization, their lives will never be the same. When the trusty British Rail sign is replaced by one reading East Midland Infrastructure, it is clear that there will be the inevitable winners and losers as downsizing and efficiency become the new buzzwords. A cheery camaraderie is soon replaced by uncertainty and turmoil when their depot manager fills them in on the details of the new arrangement. Privatization means that the customer now comes first, something that is instilled into the men in new training sessions. But there are inconsistencies and shortsightedness to the new ways. Men used to working together now find themselves belonging to different, competing companies. Some even have to tender for their old jobs. Others decide to take the redundancy packages offered by the firm. As always, corners are cut in the interest of lowering costs, leading to a series of misadventures. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site (French)

Country:

UK | Germany | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 2002 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Demiryolcular See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,940, 23 February 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,940, 23 February 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the opening scene, the locomotive pulling the freight train is a British Rail Class 25/Sulzer Type 2, which was withdrawn from mainline service in 1987, whereas this film is set in 1995. See more »

Quotes

Will Hemmings: Anyone who stands in the way of change is out.
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User Reviews

Highly recommended
17 April 2004 | by penseurSee all my reviews

Although it contains some funny moments, this film is no comedy; rather it is a biting satire of the mess that resulted when the Conservative Government in the UK decided to split up and privatise British Rail in 1995 (one wonders why they didn't go all the way and do the same to the highways) as seen through the eyes of track workers. Perhaps the most ludicrous moment is when their supervisor in their newly created regional private company tells the workers to take equipment out to dump bins and smash it up because "it isn't up to scratch, we've got to have high standards now." "But it's perfectly good, can't we sell it?" they protest. "What, sell it to the competition?" is the response. Later they are told that management's streamlining (making staff redundant) has been too successful: they are now too small to be viable and the depot has to close, the rest of the workers have to go. Aside from the almost documentary of the plight of Britain's rail network, there are personal interactions between the working class characters in their daily lives that viewers can empathise with. In all it's well cast, well scripted and well directed.


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