5.4/10
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Spivs (2004)

Not Rated | | Drama, Comedy | 24 September 2004 (UK)
Jack, Steve and Goat are East-End Spivs. They spend their time wheeling and dealing wherever and whenever they can. It's not until Jack and the others get involved with a guy called Villa, ... See full summary »

Director:

Colin Teague
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Cast

Credited cast:
Kate Ashfield ... Jenny
Linda Bassett ... Auntie Vee
Chooye Bay ... Japanese man (as Chooi Beh)
Elizabeth Berrington ... Nigel's secretary
Jennifer Cartwright Jennifer Cartwright ... Bad Ice Skater
Paul Clarke Paul Clarke ... Gangster
Cavan Clerkin ... Bob
Shane Davey ... Ice Skater
Jack Dee ... Nigel
Louis Dempsey ... Uncle Frank
Glenn Durfort Glenn Durfort ... Glenn
Neil Edmond ... Observant Waiter
Stephen Evans Stephen Evans ... Park Attendant
Julia Hargesheimer Julia Hargesheimer ... Teenage Safe House Girl
Tamer Hassan ... Villa
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Storyline

Jack, Steve and Goat are East-End Spivs. They spend their time wheeling and dealing wherever and whenever they can. It's not until Jack and the others get involved with a guy called Villa, and they are landed with a big payday they have been waiting for, when they realise what a mess they are into. At the back of the lorry they have smuggled goods in, they find illigal immegrants. Most of them escape but they are left with 2 kids; a boy and a girl, and have to decide what to do with them...Are they going to look after them and feed them, clothe them, love them, etc. or are they going to leave them on the streets of East-End London. Written by CarnabyFilms

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

one word title | See All (1) »

Taglines:

You can't cheat an honest man. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Carnaby Films

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Albanian

Release Date:

24 September 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Oi kombinadoroi See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carnaby International See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jenny: Do you know what I fancy?
Nigel: I can only begin to imagine...
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Only Fools and Horses (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tough yet warm-hearted Britcrime offering
12 November 2009 | by Ali_John_CatterallSee all my reviews

Gentleman Jack (Stott), his edgy right-hander Steve (Moran), sexy self-styled moll Jenny (Ashfield) and stoner Goat (Monaghan) pull elaborate cons on wannabe villains, buoyed by the motto: "You can't cheat an honest man". Victims include O'Brien, played by Kaye as a lisping ne'er-do-well with a silly haircut and a penchant for cash machine fraud, and nice-but-dim Nigel (Dee), owner of an ailing haulage company.

But Jack and Co. find themselves in deep water after they attempt to steal the latter's office equipment and drive it away in a 'borrowed' lorry which turns out to be full of Albanian human traffic. When the immigrants scarper, a little brother and sister are left behind. Grudgingly, Jack becomes their unofficial guardian - but is closely trailed by some murderous parties, while Steve and Jenny, intent on closing that mythical long con, walk headlong into harm.

Spivs initially hoodwinks audiences into assuming it's something that it's not, featuring the usual checklist of East End settings, shady characters and slang ("What do you think I am, some kind of meat-puppet?") which must be included by law in all contemporary British crime flicks.

However, it soon reveals itself to be both a textured character-study of a drowning middle-aged man yearning for redemption, and a harrowing expose of the illegal immigrant / underage sex slave trade.

That the slapstick and tragic elements mostly hang together bears testament to a well-plotted, well-researched script (occasionally sentimental, though never mawkish), along with an immensely touching central performance by Stott. It's rare and refreshing in these kinds of films to find a late fortysomething taking precedence over two young hipsters like Moran and Ashfield. Fine support too from Bassett as Jack's tough-talking sister Vee.

A modern Brit crime movie sporting substance over style? It must be a con!


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