A rebellious young British bowls player teams with another older and more traditional player to take on the Australian bowls team.


Mel Smith


Tim Firth (screenplay)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Kaye ... Cliff
James Cromwell ... Ray
Alice Evans ... Kerry
Bernard Cribbins ... Mutley
Johnny Vegas ... Trevor
Vince Vaughn ... Rick
Imelda Staunton ... Bridget
James Fleet ... Alan the Pipe
David Ryall ... Giles Wilton
Ian McNeice ... Hugh The Sideburns
Kenneth Cranham ... Chairman Collins
Terry Alderton Terry Alderton ... Bouncer Jonno
Emma Amos ... Local News Reporter
Paul Bentall Paul Bentall ... Gate Guard (as Paul Bental)
Neil Conrich Neil Conrich ... Reporter Dave


Try as he might, the roguishly handsome Cliff Starkey, just can't keep out of trouble. In his sleepy home town on the English coast, nothing much inspires him...apart from bowls. Cliff has always preferred to play by his own rules much to the disapproval of the regimented, elderly bowls fraternity. Before long, the bay boy of bowls is turning the sedate and very English pastime upside down with hysterical results. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Feel The Passion Of The Balls. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Johnny Vegas (Trevor) is the only cast member who can actually play bowls, and does not do so in the film. See more »


During the England v. Australia match, most of the flags shown (including the graphics behind the "computer" head-shots) are Union Flags - the flag of the United Kingdom - and not St George Crosses - the flag of England. See more »


Cliff: Is it on the condom?
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References Rocky (1976) See more »


Gonna Fly Now
Music by Bill Conti
Lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins
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User Reviews

Come on!
21 February 2004 | by flight_180See all my reviews

This film is good. No really it is. Okay so I know some people thought it was a load of old boll..I mean er...'twaddle', but it's really not! It's one of those films people think is rubbish, but that's just because they're not seeing the big picture. It's like when people say that Peter Kay isn't funny. They're just missing the jokes because they're too stupid! That's all. What a bunch of goons eh? So if you're open to humour, then you'll find this hilarious and interesting. And I'm probably making a really crap attempt at reviewing this. Hmm.

I liked the story. I thought it was different and charming in the way that Cliff was a poor boy who only had bowls to give him ambition. And even though he acted like a bit of an idiot and was annoying, he still has a charm about him. And I can't really think of anything else to say, except it is funny and good. The bit with the pepsi can amused me (watch it to find out!) and also the bits with Johnny Vegas.

Okay, so maybe the bowls match at the end goes on a bit and is a bit far fetched the way the English are losing so miserably only to go on to turn it around so dramatically..but overall it's good.

One negative thing though: Kerry's hair looks like a wig and she's a bit of a goon. Apart from that it's very good! So as Cliff Starkey would say; Come on!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

5 September 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Blackball See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,000, 13 February 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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