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Peterloo (2018)

PG-13 | | Drama, History | 5 April 2019 (USA)
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The story of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre where British forces attacked a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester.

Director:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh
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547 ( 243)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rory Kinnear ... Henry Hunt
Maxine Peake ... Nellie
Pearce Quigley ... Joshua
David Moorst ... Joseph
Rachel Finnegan ... Mary
Tom Meredith Tom Meredith ... Robert
Simona Bitmate ... Esther
Robert Wilfort ... Lord Liverpool, the Prime Minister
Karl Johnson ... Lord Sidmouth, the Home Secretary
Sam Troughton ... Mr. Hobhouse
Roger Sloman ... Mr. Grout
Kenneth Hadley ... Mr. Golightly
Tom Edward-Kane Tom Edward-Kane ... Mr. Cobb
Lizzy McInnerny ... Mrs. Moss
Alastair Mackenzie ... General Sir John Byng
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Storyline

An epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter's Field in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history. The massacre saw British government forces charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reform and protest against rising levels of poverty. Many protesters were killed and hundreds more injured, sparking a nationwide outcry but also further government suppression. The Peterloo Massacre was a defining moment in British democracy which also played a significant role in the founding of The Guardian newspaper.

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Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a sequence of violence and chaos | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 April 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Peterloo See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,002, 7 April 2019, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$64,579, 14 April 2019
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film Peterloo will mark the 200th anniversary of the notorious Peterloo Massacre. See more »

Goofs

The Mail Coach is not a font - it is hand painted with lettering to match the early 1800s one in the London Science Museum. See more »

Connections

Featured in Granada Reports: 16 August 2018: Evening Bulletin (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A splendid rendition with Mike Leigh's perfect pitch about the commoners.
15 April 2019 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"Rise like Lions after slumber in unvanquishable number- Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you- Ye are many-they are few." Shelley, from The Masque of Anarchy

No contemporary director depicts and loves the working class better than Mike Leigh: look at Secrets and Lies for the best example. Believing that not enough people know about the massacre in 1819 in Manchester, where the British army slaughtered 18 and wounded scores of commoners peacefully assembling for liberty and rights, Leigh filmed Peterloo, the popular name for the uprising.

With an ear for local locutions and pompous preening, Leigh alternates between the people and their monarchial rulers, showing the sincerity of the marchers and the fear of the magistrates, who wish for nothing more than a Waterloo to stem the French-revolution-like yearnings of the folk. When administrators order the soldiers to squash the gathering, it's the beginning of responsible press reporting the malignity of entrenched rulers.

Leigh's longtime cinematographer, Dick Pope, has exceptional shots of the laborers and their homes to rival the best work of Millet and Courbet. The framing arches and rolling fields provide Pope with contours and colors to complement the dignity and vitality of the people.

However, it's Leigh's unfailing ear for diction and eye for metaphor that distinguish him as a David Lean of the working class. Contrasting the magistrates clustered around drafting the warrants for the crowd and the almost lyrical happiness of the assembly not only sets up the worlds of sad and happy, but they also heighten the terror as the innocent are vanquished by the proud.

Out of this debacle came a strong press that began and never stopped evaluating the ruling class. All hail the emergence of the Manchester Guardian.

"Let a great Assembly be Of the fearless and the free On some spot of English ground Where the plains stretch wide around." Shelley


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