7.9/10
4,725
17 user 6 critic

Marvellous (2014)

The life of Neil Baldwin, a man who has shrugged off his perceived limitations to live an incredible life.

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10 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Neil Baldwin
... Mary
... Lou Macari
... Rev Mark
... Malcolm
Paul Hunter ... Ringmaster
... Rev. McCoist
Mona Goodwin ... Elaine
Jacqueline Redgewell ... Doris
Paul Bell ... Lorry driver
Ben Abell ... Security guard
... Laino
... Bomber
... Paddy
... Registrar
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Storyline

Neil Baldwin, born just after World War II, is considered to have learning difficulties but he has an appetite for life and, encouraged by his mother Mary, leaves his butchery job to join the circus as Nello the Clown, being undaunted when the circus moves on without him. He moves to Keele University, where Mary has a cleaning job, appointing himself the unofficial greeter to new students, a role rewarded by an honorary degree in 2013. He also gets to manage its unofficial football team, named after him, and in 1992 talks his way into becoming the kit man and mascot of his beloved football team Stoke City. For Neil there are no boundaries - his interest in religion leads to his becoming a lay preacher whilst he presents himself at the House of Commons for tea with MP Tony Benn and at Cambridge University, where he strikes up a friendship with Prince Andrew, which results in his being on the queen's Christmas card list. With his indomitable attitude overcoming early set-backs and the ... Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama

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Official BBC page

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Release Date:

25 September 2014 (UK)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stoke City's Victoria Ground has long been demolished so Crewe Alexandra's Gresty Rd and Wrexham's Racecourse ground were used to portray Stoke's former home. See more »

Quotes

Neil Baldwin: I always wanted to be happy, so I decided to be.
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Connections

Features Trapeze (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bloomin marvellous
26 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

Marvellous is actually based on a true person. Neil Baldwin lives with his mum, deeply religious and wants to run away to the circus to be a clown and make people happy.

Neil is also a person with mild learning difficulties, his mother is worried how he could cope on his own but Neil never lets setbacks hold him back. He makes friends whether its bishops, Archbishops, politicians or football managers.

After being abandoned by the circus, he becomes a greeter at Keele University, he becomes a kit-man to his beloved Stoke City and befriended by their manager Lou Macari. He even turned up regularly at the Oxbridge boat race standing behind the race referee.

Neil was eventually awarded a honorary degree in 2013 at Keele University. Its a life affirming film with the real Neil Baldwin popping up with Toby Jones who portrays him alongside other real life individuals such as Lou Macari. Its almost a fantasy but you keep getting reminded that this is based on true facts as these real people pop up. When you see Neil having tea with Tony Benn in the House of Commons is because he really did know his son Stephen.

Jones does a good job in getting under the skin of Neil, channelling his optimistic spirit and also the doldrums that he enters when his mother dies. Its moving as well as funny with tinges of sadness.

The film is supposedly a period piece but you are never sure when in the past its based, I guess much of the events took place in the 1970s but Macari became manager for Stoke in the early 1990s and Neil has been an unofficial greeter for Keele University for around 50 years when he got there as a schoolboy.

It surely is an individualistic, rather left field film, well it had to be made that way if they wanted to display Neil's indomitable spirit.


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