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This special edition DVD features:
Intro to the film by David Leland
Documentary on the life work of the director, Alan Clarke
Timewatch: Documentary exploring the roots of football hooliganism The
Late Show: Panel discussion and critical reaction to the film
Audio commentary with Phil Davis and Lesley Manville.
Review from Amazon:
In The Firm, Clarke takes on football hooliganism and the mercenary ideals of Thatcher's England. Bex, played with virtuosic blend of ferocity and charm by Gary Oldman, is not the stereotypical skinhead thug, but, essentially, a yuppie. Clarke cannily introduces Bex as a family man who clearly loves his wife, Sue (Lesley Manville), and their young son. Initially, it seems that Bex is far more rational than his mates, as he resists their exhortations to seek immediate violent retribution when his car is vandalized. Clarke and Oldman, working from a script by Al Ashton (EastEnders), gradually reveal the depths of Bex's depravity.
In the world of The Firm, football and provincialism are merely excuses for preternaturally angry men to unleash terrorism upon each other. With his marriage on the verge of collapse, Bex is unable to relinquish his position as "top boy" of his crew. "I need the buzz," he moans, pleading with Sue to understand his unquenchable appetite for destruction. Clarke, who was actually a football fan, and Ashton reveal an ugly side of spectatorship, as certain fans see their own noxious behavior as more important than the sport they claim to love. While its critique of the Thatcher era is a bit oblique, the film is trenchant in its treatment of masculine identity tied to aggression. The level of barbarity the film reaches may strain credulity a bit, but Clarke pulls it together with a bitterly ironic, "triumphant" ending.
Cast: Gary Oldman (Bex Bissell), Lesley Manville (Sue), Philip Davis (Yeti), Andrew Wilde (Oboe), Charles Lawson (Trigg), William Vanderpuye (Aitch)
Review from IMDB:
This film is as true as can be to portray how the hooligan had evolved from the 70's. The culture had swiftly moved onto the lower-middle classes by the 1980's. No longer did they need to be "Skinheads" or "Working class scum" who used the movement as a means to protest against the state.
In order for the hooligans to survive they had to become more intelligent and more cunning to outwit the police. The football shirts were put in one draw and the suits and cotton shirts were pulled out of another - the element of disguise.
Gary Oldman is Bex, the hilarious yet psychotic estate agent who has one goal - to be top boy in Europe. Along with his crew, The ICC, Bex puts it to two other rival firms that he wishes to lead them all into Europe...but they're having none of it. They let him know that the only way he will get that position is if his best ten can beat theirs.
As well as trying to keep him marriage together Bex battles his way to becoming "top boy"...but does he actually succeed? Alan Clarke's films are always witty, gritty and as realistic as they can get. Its a shame the man made only one more film before being taken from this world (cancer) in 1990.
More realistic than "Football Factory" and "I.D", its highly recommended you watch this Made-For-TV classic.
Language: English, Commentary track
Subtitles included: English on DVD, hard of hearing subs
PAL DVD9 - Direct copy made with DVDFab 5 - VOB files inside VIDEO_TS folder
DVD Source: region 2, DVD9
DVD Format: PAL
Program: DVDFab 5
DVD extras: Untouched
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