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Vera Drake (2004)

Trailer
2:22 | Trailer

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Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family.

Director:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 41 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Imelda Staunton ... Vera
Richard Graham Richard Graham ... George
Eddie Marsan ... Reg
Anna Keaveney Anna Keaveney ... Nellie
Alex Kelly Alex Kelly ... Ethel
Daniel Mays ... Sid
Phil Davis ... Stan
Lesley Manville ... Mrs. Wells
Sally Hawkins ... Susan
Simon Chandler ... Mr. Wells
Sam Troughton ... David
Marion Bailey ... Mrs. Fowler
Sandra Voe Sandra Voe ... Vera's Mother
Chris O'Dowd ... Sid's Customer
Adrian Scarborough ... Frank
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Storyline

Vera Drake is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She spends her days doting on them and caring for her sick neighbor and elderly mother. However, she also secretly visits women and helps them induce miscarriages for unwanted pregnancies. While the practice itself was illegal in 1950s England, Vera sees herself as simply helping women in need, and always does so with a smile and kind words of encouragement. When the authorities finally find her out, Vera's world and family life rapidly unravel. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wife. Mother. Criminal.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depiction of strong thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El secreto de Vera Drake See more »

Filming Locations:

UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£266,010 (United Kingdom), 9 January 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,207, 10 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,753,806, 27 March 2005
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?

Trivia

Despite Mike Leigh's reputation, the film's budget was so tight that they ran out of money close to the end of shooting. Leigh and the cast rehearsed for another week before shooting restarted. See more »

Goofs

Vera's sister-in-law Joyce says she wants a washing machine which costs "25 pounds." Until decimalization in 1971, most luxury goods, like washing machines and men's suits, were priced in guineas, not pounds (one guinea = one pound one shilling, or one pound five pence in decimal). Some stores, particularly those wishing to appeal to the middle class or aspiring to a degree of 'poshness', priced items in pounds. Throughout the 1960s most domestic items were priced in pounds, shillings, and pence. Services and professions continued to charge in guineas until much later. In the film, an abortion costs two guineas. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Vera: Hello George, only me. How are you going today?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits it says: "In loving memory of my parents, a doctor and a midwife." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Smith & Jones Sketchbook: Episode #1.3 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Calling All Workers
(1940)
Written by Eric Coates
(p) 1940 Chappell Recorded Music Library
(c) 1940 Chappell Recorded Music Library
A BMG Zomba Company
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's not entertainment but...
18 November 2004 | by ILLPIRATASee all my reviews

It's not entertainment but...this is an extraordinary piece of work.

I went to see Alexander on a Wednesday night and Vera Drake the night after and what a contrast! A story that means something, characters that feel rough and real in your hands like worn stones in an old pathway, and above all film making with a purpose with no effort to dazzle just inform.

It's not perfect, but this is the kind of imperfection all of us in Hollywood should strive for.

A word about the art direction too. I remember the 50's in England and yes it was just like that - I remember my parents kitchen being that dismal and green, and yes English people and English families can be that incommunicative, and yes they sat in front of the fire and talked about the war and the Blitz and yes we would sit in the parlour on Christmas day and eat off a table just like that.

There. I've shared secrets with you. Now go and see this and keep crap like Alexander off the screens.


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