The Full Monty (1997)

Six unemployed Sheffield men turn to professional stripping in this modest British comedy which became a surprise international hit.

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Film details

Cast & Credits

Introduction

“This exuberant charmer manages to be roaringly funny and subtly heartbreaking...The Full Monty defines the phrase ‘crowd pleaser’”
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, 1997

Sheffield’s declining steel industry doesn’t suggest itself as the background for an uplifting comic fairytale, but screenwriter Simon Beaufoy uses affectionate humour to show how a group of disenfranchised men reclaim their dignity through stripping. The cast includes Robert Carlyle, an actor more generally associated with social realism than comedy, and Tom Wilkinson, who has subsequently had a prolific career as a Hollywood supporting actor.

For all the film’s marvellous set pieces – dance moves in the dole queue, the raucous final striptease – it remains emphatically focused on the lives of its central characters. The rags-to-emotional-riches story proved resonant with audiences worldwide, and the film found itself up against Titanic for Best Picture at the 1998 Oscars, winning the award for Best Score.

Writer Simon Beaufoy found even greater success with Slumdog Millionaire (2008). Billy Elliot (2000) is another tale of a working-class hero triumphing against the odds through dance.

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