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Brassed Off

Brassed Off

4.3 6
Director: Mark Herman,

Cast: Mark Herman, Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor


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Economics and music are the twin focal points of this comedy/drama about a community in crisis. The small British town of Grimley has long been dominated by the coal mine where most of the men work, and the town's greatest source of pride is the Grimley Colliery Band, a brass ensemble that's won a number of nationwide competitions. Danny (Pete Postlewaite) is a


Economics and music are the twin focal points of this comedy/drama about a community in crisis. The small British town of Grimley has long been dominated by the coal mine where most of the men work, and the town's greatest source of pride is the Grimley Colliery Band, a brass ensemble that's won a number of nationwide competitions. Danny (Pete Postlewaite) is a retired miner in poor health who directs the band; a national championship is coming up, and Danny is determined that Grimley will walk away with a trophy. But many of his musicians have other things on their minds: word has it that the mine may soon close down, and, in a city already suffering an economic downturn, this is just short of a death sentence. Adding to the intrigue is the return of Gloria (Tara Fitzgerald), who used to live in Grimley and is back in town for a while on an assignment. While the band has traditionally been all-male, Danny considers bending the rules to allow Gloria in the band, as she's a fine fluglehorn player, but her presence is bad news for the town: she works for the government and is investigating the feasibility of closing down the mine. Ace trumpeter Andy (Ewan McGregor) also has mixed feelings about Gloria; they were once a couple, and he still has feelings for her, but he's not sure he wants to set himself up for another breakup. The real-life Grimethorpe Colliery Band performs on the soundtrack.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Brassed Off! starts out like a predecessor to The Full Monty, only with trumpets instead of g-strings. It uses similar themes of British blue-collar hardship that Monty took to grand heights of wry humor a year later, but it switches from a light comedy to a heavier melodrama partway through, which may have prevented it from receiving a warmer reception. Still, all the ingredients are there for a generally uplifting tale that's charmingly acted, with lively dialogue full of clipped sentiments that are both funny and thoroughly British. It's probably a better movie for not resorting to easy answers to the massive mine closures, perpetuated by Margaret Thatcher's Tory party, that plagued the workforce in the early '90s. The dour moments, and there are a few, are true to history. Ewan McGregor heads up a cast that includes the lovely Tara Fitzgerald, plus a touching performance from Stephen Tompkinson as a die-hard union man at the end of his rope with his wife and creditors, forced to resort to a second career as a hapless clown named Mr. Chuckles. Pete Postlethwaite is the proud band leader, whose fiery climactic speech is quoted by the musical group Chumbawamba at the beginning of its power-to-the-people hit "Tubthumping." The Grimethorpe Colliery Band provides the score, by turns rousing and pensive, like the movie itself.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Walt Disney Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pete Postlethwaite Danny
Tara Fitzgerald Gloria
Ewan McGregor Andy
Jim Carter Harry
Stephen Tompkinson Phil
Philip Jackson Jim
Peter Martin Ernie
Sue Johnston Vera
Mary Healey Ida
Lill Roughley Rita
Melanie Hill Sandra
Peter Gunn Simmo
Kenneth Colley Greasley
Sally Adams Ward Sister
Tubby Andrews Bus Driver
Robert Archer Grimley Colliery Band
Andrew Armstrong Grimley Colliery Band
David Arnold Grimley Colliery Band
Mark Arnold Grimley Colliery Band
David Barraclough Grimley Colliery Band
Jonathan Beatty Grimley Colliery Band
Katherine Dow Blyton Nurse
Roy Bowater Grimley Colliery Band
Colin Brook Grimley Colliery Band
Duncan Byers Grimley Colliery Band
Malcolm Clegg Grimley Colliery Band
Paul Davies Grimley Colliery Band
David Essex Grimley Colliery Band
Charles Faulkner Grimley Colliery Band
Adam Fogerty Miner
Toni Galacki Gary
Olga Grahame Mrs Foggan
Andrew Hirst Grimley Colliery Band
Alan Hobbins Grimley Colliery Band
Adrian Hood Heavy
Cliff Hopes Grimley Colliery Band
Paul Hughes Grimley Colliery Band
Sky Ingram Kylie
Michael Kennedy Grimley Colliery Band
Ken Kitson Heavy
Vanessa Knox-Mawer 2nd Mother
Sally Ann Matthews Waitress
Paul McDonald Grimley Colliery Band
Luke McGann Shane
Stephen Moore Mackenzie
Jacqueline Naylor 1st Mother
Stephan Peacock Grimley Colliery Band
Shaun Randall Grimley Colliery Band
Bob Rodgers Halifax Judge
Jim Shepherd Grimley Colliery Band
Irene Skillington Passing Nurse
Max Smith Nightwatchman
Ronnie Stevens Albert Hall Judge
Robin Lord Taylor Grimley Colliery Band
Christopher Tetlow Craig
Peter Wallis Elderly Man
Simon Willis Grimley Colliery Band
Bernard Wrigley Chapman

Technical Credits
Mark Herman Director,Screenwriter
Steve Abbott Producer
Jonathan Benson Asst. Director
Andy Collins Cinematographer
Michael Ellis Editor
Felicity Joll Art Director
Trevor Jones Score Composer
Peter Lindsay Sound/Sound Designer
Amy Roberts Costumes/Costume Designer
Olivia Stewart Co-producer
Don Taylor Production Designer


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Brassed Off 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie stirred more emotions than i realized that i had. Pete Postlewaite is the man and steven tompkinson is the true reason to watch this film. truely five stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I laughed, I cried, I felt angry, I smiled... all the emotions that a father of three can feel are in this film. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an emotionally gripping tale with a great cast and wonderful music. I have been a fan of Pete Postelwaite since his role in The Shipping News, and in Brassed Off he tops that performance by far. I'd never seen or heard of Tara Fitzgerald before but wow. I'm smitten! And, of course, all the girls will say the same about Ewan McGregor. The music by the real Grimethorpe Colliery Band is terrific and should be an eye opener for Americans not familiar with the British brass band genre. My only disappointment was the use of The William Tell Overture as it was used in the film. It was well played, of course, but I don't believe that it would ever be used in the finals of the nationwide brass band competition in Britain. An effort to enthrall the general movie going audience, I suppose, at the expense of brass band purists. Nevertheless, a great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this movie because, as a wind player, I loved the music they played. It has really good acting from Ewan McGregor and Tara Fitzgerald. I recommend this movie to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to watch the flic for school. It was boring and the only good bit was watching that fella form Star Wars get flogged at 8-ball. Dont watch this anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In all honesty, I rented Brassed Off! the other night because I saw Ewan McGregor on the cover. (I'm a huge fan.) However, as my roommates and I watched it this afternoon, I found myself cheering the Grimley Colliery Band along, and clenching my fists when the mine was facing closure. This movie is highly emotional, and, as a future band director, it satisfied my need for true band music (I especially enjoyed the ''Florentiner March''...the song they played at the Semi-Finals) and my desire for emotion in a movie like this. It was one of the sweetest movies in a long time, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a love story interspersed with the harshness of everyday life. Go out and rent it right now!