The Full Monty
|The Full Monty|
US release poster
|Directed by||Peter Cattaneo|
|Produced by||Uberto Pasolini|
|Written by||Simon Beaufoy|
|Music by||Anne Dudley|
|Cinematography||John de Borman|
|Edited by||David Freeman
Channel Four Films
|Distributed by||Fox Searchlight Pictures (US)
20th Century Fox (UK)
|Running time||91 minutes|
|Budget||£3 million ($3.5 million)|
|Box office||£160,049,344 ($257,938,649)|
The Full Monty is a 1997 British comedy-drama film directed by Peter Cattaneo, starring Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, William Snape, Steve Huison, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Barber, and Hugo Speer. The screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy. The film is set in Sheffield, England, and it tells the story of six unemployed men, four of them former steel workers, who decide to form a male striptease act (à la Chippendale dancers) in order to gather enough money to get somewhere else and for main character, Gaz, to be able to see his son. Gaz declares that their show will be better than the Chippendales dancers because they will go "the full monty" — strip all the way — hence the film's title. Despite being a comedy, the film also touches on serious subjects such as unemployment, fathers' rights, depression, impotence, homosexuality, obesity, working class culture and suicide.
The Full Monty was a major critical success upon release and an unexpected international commercial success, grossing over $250 million from a budget of only $3.5 million. It was the highest grossing film in the UK until it was outsold by Titanic. It was ultimately nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Music Score, winning the latter.
The once-successful steel mills of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, have shut down and most of the employees have been laid off. Former steel workers Gary "Gaz" Schofield and Dave Horsefall have resorted to stealing scrap metal from the abandoned mills to sell. Gaz is facing trouble from his former wife, Mandy and her boyfriend Barry over child support payments that he's failed to make since losing his job. Gaz's son, Nathan, loves his father but wishes they could do more "normal stuff" in their time together.
One day, Gaz spots a crowd of women lined up outside a local club to see a Chippendale's striptease act. He gets the idea to form his own strip tease group using local men in hopes of making enough money to pay off his child support obligations. The first to join the group is Lomper, a security guard at the steel mill where Dave and Gaz once worked. Severely depressed, Lomper attempts to commit suicide, but is rescued by Dave who convinces him to join the group. Next they recruit Gerald Cooper, a former manager at the plant, who has been hiding the fact that he is unemployed from his wife. Gaz and Dave see Gerald and his wife, Linda (Deidre Costello), at a dance class and recruit him to teach them some actual dance moves.
The four men hold an open audition to recruit more members and settle on Horse, an older man who is nevertheless a good dancer, and Guy, who can't dance but proves to be well-endowed when he exposes himself. When they are approached by local women while they are hanging up posters for the show, Gaz declares that their show will be better than the local Chippendale dancers because they'll go "the full monty" and remove all their clothes. During the rehearsals, Dave drops out due to body image issues and gets a job as a security guard at Asda. The others try a public rehearsal at the abandoned factory in front of several female relatives of Horse, but they are caught mid-show by a passing policeman and arrested. Due to the arrest, Gaz loses the right to see Nathan. But the arrest makes the front page of the newspaper, making them famous. Lomper and Guy are the only ones who escape the police and run to Lomper's house, where they make out. Later Gaz arrives at Asda and asks Dave if he could borrow a jacket for Lomper's mother's funeral to which he agrees and also decides to quit his job and they go the funeral.
They decide to forgo the plan, until Gaz learns that the show is sold out, and convinces the others (including Gerald, who just landed a job) to do it for one night only. Dave, having re-gained his confidence with encouragement from his wife, Jean, joins the rest of the group minutes before they go on stage. However, Gaz himself refuses to do it because there are men in the audience (including members of the police department who arrested them earlier), even when Nathan, who has secretly come, tells him that Mandy is there. Nathan later forces his hand and Gaz, proud of his son, performs in front of the audience and Mandy, who seems to see him in a new light.
- Robert Carlyle as Gary "Gaz" Schofield
- Mark Addy as Dave Horsefall
- William Snape as Nathan Schofield
- Steve Huison as Lomper
- Tom Wilkinson as Gerald Arthur Cooper
- Paul Barber as Barrington "Horse" Mitchell
- Hugo Speer as Guy
- Lesley Sharp as Jean Horsefall
- Emily Woof as Mandy
- Deirdre Costello as Linda Cooper
- Paul Butterworth as Barry
- Dave Hill as Alan
- Bruce Jones as Reg
- Andrew Livingston as Terry
- Vinny Dhillon as Sharon
- Andy Smith as Clive (Uncredited)
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2014)|
Channel 4 Films paid for the screenplay to be written but then declined to invest any equity in the film.
The cast allegedly agreed that all six of them would really do the "full monty" strip at the end in front of 400 extras, provided they had to do only one take. Therefore, the choreographer, Suzanne Darley-Grand, was hiding in front of the stage, just beyond the camera view, screaming directions at the cast during the closing scene.
The Reel Monty
The opening sequence of the Sheffield promotion film from 1972 is taken from City on the Move, a film commissioned by Peter Wigley, Sheffield's first ever publicity officer, to convince people that Sheffield was a centre for tourism and commerce. City on the Move was produced and directed by Jim and Marie-Luise Coulthard and showed a modern thriving city that was rapidly developing thanks to the successful steel industry in Sheffield. However, the film went virtually unnoticed until the Coulthards were approached about some of the footage being included in The Full Monty for a payment of £400, which they accepted. In 2008, City on the Move was released on DVD under the new name The Reel Monty.
The film's title is a phrase generally used in the UK to mean 'the whole lot', or 'the whole hog'; in the film, the characters use it to refer to full nudity — as Horse says, "No one said anything to me about the full monty!"
The phrase comes from a reference to Montague Burton, the ready-to-wear clothing manufacturers (Burton, a Jewish immigrant, who came alone from Lithuania at the age of fifteen, founded and built up the business in Leeds). In the days when money was scarce a suit would be a treasured item of clothing only kept for "best". If you had the waistcoat as well as the jacket and trousers, you would really have something special! So, only when you were going out on a special occasion, would you wear the full 3-piece outfit! Full Montague Burton ... hence, the full Monty! It came to mean doing anything to its fullest extent.
In spite of its size, Burton's was always thought of as a "family" firm. The workers received many benefits. There was the largest works canteen in the world! Social welfare (before such a thing was provided by the government) included dental treatment, chiropodists and even sun-lamp treatments. Christmas parties with gifts for the workers were given every year. People stayed with the firm for many years, often members of the same family would work there. In days when many such establishments were "sweat shops" Montague Burton's stood out as a beacon of light!
Other dialect words are used in the film; some such as nesh (meaning a person unusually susceptible to cold) are widespread across the North Midlands region. Jennel (an alley) is local to Sheffield: it is a variation on the word "ginnel", which is in full versions of the Oxford Dictionary and is used in many parts of England.
The film surprised the critics when it was first released, earning near universal acclaim. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 95% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 40 reviews, with an average score of 7.6/10, and went on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Awards and recognition
The Full Monty won the BAFTA Award for Best Film in 1997, beating out presumed frontrunners Titanic and L.A Confidential, and Carlyle won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. It was nominated for a total of four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Music Score, and Best Original Screenplay. In 1997 the Academy Award for Best Original Score was split up into two categories: Dramatic and Musical or Comedy. In light of 1997's big winner, Titanic, the film won only the Oscar for Best Original Music Score (Musical or Comedy) by Anne Dudley, with the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars going to Titanic and its director James Cameron, and the Best Original Screenplay Oscar going to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting. The film was also nominated for the prestigious Grand Prix of the Belgian Syndicate of Cinema Critics.
New Zealand playwrights Anthony McCarten and Stephen Sinclair filed a £180 million lawsuit against the producers of The Full Monty in 1998. They claim that the film blatantly infringed on their play Ladies Night, which toured both Britain and New Zealand. Anthony McCarten and Stephen Sinclair created a website containing their play in response to statements from the producers of The Full Monty that claimed the two productions were not alike. The underlying rights were attributed to co-producer, Paul Bucknor, and the lawsuit was settled out of court; as part of the agreement, the website containing Ladies Night was shut down.
Anne Dudley's Oscar for Best Score was a surprise, and some critics felt undeserved, inasmuch as the award is for original music and most of the film's memorable moments had jukebox favourites playing. Dudley composed "about 20 minutes'- worth of music" for the film. Bob Strauss called the Oscar "well-deserved", while Pauline Reay felt Dudley's underscore complemented the familiar hits. Dudley described her score to Steven Poole:
- it was this conglomeration of sounds – baritone sax, acoustic guitar, harmonica… The reasoning was that all these six men are different, they come from different backgrounds, but in the final scene it all works. The idea was that the instruments should do that as well – they all come from different places but they actually gel
|The Full Monty: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Genre||Disco, Pop, Dance|
The album The Full Monty: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack includes two original tracks by Dudley plus the pop hits, including a cover by Tom Jones of "You Can Leave Your Hat On" commissioned and produced by Dudley, who had collaborated with Jones on a 1988 cover of "Kiss".
- "The Zodiac" – David Lindup (3:06)
- "You Sexy Thing" – Hot Chocolate (4:03)
- "You Can Leave Your Hat On" – Tom Jones (4:26)
- "Moving on Up" – M People (5:29)
- "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel (3:59)
- "The Full Monty" – Anne Dudley (3:04)
- "The Lunchbox Has Landed" – Anne Dudley (2:14)
- "Land of a Thousand Dances" – Wilson Pickett (2:24)
- "Rock & Roll, Pt. 2" – Gary Glitter (3:02)
- "Hot Stuff" – Donna Summer (3:49)
- "We Are Family" – Sister Sledge (3:35)
- "Flashdance... What a Feeling" – Irene Cara (3:49)
- "The Stripper" – Joe Loss & His Orchestra (2:11)
It was also adapted into a stage play by the original screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, which opened at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield on 2 February 2013, directed by Sheffield Theatres artistic director Daniel Evans, before embarking on a national tour. It opened in the West End at the Noël Coward Theatre on 25 February 2014. However, despite positive reviews, it was announced the show would close on 29 March, rather than the planned 14 June, after a run of just over a month.
- "THE FULL MONTY (15)". 20th Century Fox. British Board of Film Classification. 19 May 1997. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984–2000, Orion Books, 2005 p280
- "The Full Monty (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- See Sheffield reel time in 1969, The Star, 8 October 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- The Reel Monty website
- Putting SY on the wordmap, BBC, 22 August 2005[dubious ]
- The Full Monty at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Full Monty Producers Sued by 2 New Zealand Playwrights". playbill.com. Playbill. 3 March 1998. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- Writers sue over The Full Monty, BBC News, 4 March 1998
- 'Ladies' fight.', Campbell, Gordon. Listener p.25-26; 26 September 1998.
- Hollywood Plagiarism, Weird Realm Film Reviews. Retrieved 1 October 2007.
- Bona, Damien (2002-02-06). Inside Oscar 2. Random House Publishing Group. p. 306. ISBN 9780345448002. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
the Oscar to Anne Dudley for The Full Monty ... was somewhat surprising, since the music most remembered from the film was ... disco hits"
- Berardinelli, James (23 March 1998). "Commentary: A "Live" Look at the Oscars". Retrieved 28 November 2014.
To be quite frank, I can't remember anything about the original score of the film. All I remember are the pop songs.
- Burr, Ty (1 March 1998). "When Will Oscar Really Know the Score?". New York Times. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- Fontaine, Rex (29 March 1998). "People: Early to bed for Anne and Oscar". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- Strauss, Bob (24 March 1998). "Analysis: Oscars listing to mainstream.". Daily News (Los Angeles). Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- Reay, Pauline (2004). Music in Film: Soundtracks and Synergy. Wallflower Press. p. 105. ISBN 9781903364659. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- "Fingers and thumbs: With the Art of Noise’s Anne Dudley". Steven Poole. 10 April 1998. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
- Dyja, Eddie (2010). Studying British Cinema, the 1990s. Columbia University Press. p. 106. ISBN 9781906733025.
Tom Jones ... recorded it especially for the film
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Full Monty|
- The Full Monty at the Internet Movie Database
- The Full Monty at Box Office Mojo
- The Full Monty at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Full Monty at Metacritic
- Monty Mania — Ultimate guide to The Full Monty
- The Full Monty — Where that film title came from
- The Reel Monty — The film that fronts The Full Monty
- Production: The Full Monty – Working in the Theatre Seminar video at American Theatre Wing.org, September 2000