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Margaret (2009)

Margaret Thatcher's final days as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Director:

James Kent

Writer:

Richard Cottan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Allam ... John Wakeham
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ... John Sergeant
Charlotte Asprey ... Caroline Stephens
Elizabeth Bennett Elizabeth Bennett ... Sue Mastriforte
Martin Chamberlain Martin Chamberlain ... Nigel Lawson
Michael Cochrane ... Alan Clark
Oliver Cotton ... Michael Heseltine
Alan Cox ... Gordon Reece
Dermot Crowley ... Airey Neave
Nicholas Day ... Cranley Onslow
Lindsay Duncan ... Margaret Thatcher
Julian Firth ... Norman Lamont
James Fox ... Charles Powell
Robert Hardy ... Willie Whitelaw
Guy Henry ... Tristan Garel-Jones
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Storyline

Margaret Thatcher's final days as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Demir leydi See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Philip Jackson (Bernard Ingram) and Michael Cochrane (Alan Clark) both appeared in an earlier BBC political drama entitled Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (2008), to which this production is an indirect sequel. They played Alf Roberts, the father of the title character, and Sir Waldron Smithers respectively. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film any time a telephone rang a soft electronic warble ring was used. Yet all telephones seen throughout the production are BT/GPO standard issue (of the day) Type 706's which had a mechanical bell ringer. See more »

Quotes

Geoffrey Howe: The conflict of loyalty, of loyalty to my Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister - and, after all, in two decades together that instinct of loyalty is still very real - and of loyalty to what I perceive to be the true interests of the nation, has become all too great. I no longer believe it possible to resolve that conflict from within this Government. That is why I have resigned. In doing so, I have done what I believe to be right for my party and my country. The time has come for others ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #4.110 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Thatcher's Downfall
8 November 2011 | by timdalton007See all my reviews

Margaret Thatcher, the UK's longest serving post World War II Prime Minister, a major player on the world stage during that time and a figure who still is a source of controversy more than thirty years after being elected. In 1990 her tenure as Prime Minister came to an end when her own party replaced her. The 2009 BBC film Margaret tells the story of her last days in power, how it came about and how her greatest strengths brought her down.

The film's greatest strength is Lindsay Duncan as Thatcher. Her performance is nothing short of excellent as she plays Thatcher as a politician at the height of power who fails to realize until it is too late that her day has gone. Duncan doesn't capture Thatcher's famous voice but she nevertheless gives an excellent performance throughout be it the tough woman fighting to get elected in the film's flashbacks or in the scenes towards the end of the film when she becomes painfully aware of what everyone around her has known throughout that her time has come and gone. Duncan is the life and soul of the film and you never forget it for a moment.

Backing Duncan is a fine supporting cast. They range from Ian McDiarmid as Denis Thatcher, James Fox as Charles Powell, Rupert Vansittart as Peter Morrison, Margaret as Cranley Onslow, Michael Cochrane as Alan Clark, John Sessions as Geoffrey Howe and Michael Maloney as future Prime Minister John Major. Together they form the figures around Thatcher both trying to save and bring to an end to her.

The film's production values are as of high a quality as the cast. Of particular note is the cinematography of David Odd which gives the film a strong sense of reality by giving the viewer the sense of being a fly on the wall at times into a world of power and shadows, where Thatcher looks constantly into mirrors in an attempt to see what is going on in her own mind and it makes the viewer feel like an intruder almost into this world. David Roger's sets also go a long way to giving the film that sense of realism as well from the days of Thatcher's campaign to the House of Commons to 10 Downing Street itself. The result is a film that oddly gives the sense, despite being fiction, of a glimpse into the behind the scenes world of British politics in November 1990.

Last but not least of course is the script by Richard Cottan. At the beginning of the film, there is a disclaimer that reads: "Whilst this film is based on real public events, most of the dialogue and many of the scenes are the invention of the author." That is certainly the case, let there be no doubt. What Cottan does then is make the film into a portrait of Thatcher, "the iron lady", and how what made her the powerful politician she was brought her down. Thatcher is portrayed as someone who strove to change the Conservative Party of the mid to late 1970s, someone who wasn't taken seriously by those she sought to replace and yet falling victim to the very same thing fifteen years later. The most incredible thing is how she doesn't seem to realize it, clings to the belief until it brings her down. As a result, Cottan creates not a docudrama but a drama that uses an historical event and Thatcher in particular to tell a story as old as politics itself: the powerful leader who becomes so separated from reality it destroys them.

Margaret is an excellent film detailing the final days of Margaret Thatcher's time as UK Prime Minister. From the excellent performance of Lindsay Duncan as Thatcher through the supporting cast, production values and the script from writer Richard Cottan, the film is a fine piece of drama. It also stands as a warning to those who grasp at power as it teaches the oldest lesson of all: power doesn't last forever.


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