Kinky Boots (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Julian Jarrold|
|Produced by||Suzanne Mackie
|Written by||Geoff Deane
|Music by||Adrian Johnston|
|Edited by||Emma E. Hickox|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films
Kinky Boots is a 2005 British-American comedy-drama film written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth, and directed by Julian Jarrold. Based on a true story, the movie tells of a struggling British shoe factory's young, strait-laced owner, Charlie, who forms an unlikely partnership with Lola, a drag queen, to save the business. Charlie develops a plan to produce custom footwear for drag queens, rather than the men's dress shoes that his firm is known for, and in the process, he and Lola discover that they are not so different after all.
In the town of Northampton, in the East Midlands of England, Charlie Price is attempting to save the family shoe factory, which has been floundering since his father died. While on a business trip to London to sell the company's extra stock, Charlie encounters a woman being harassed by drunken hoodlums and intervenes to his detriment. He wakes up back stage, in the dressing room of Lola, a drag queen performer and alter ego of Simon. Charlie is intrigued when he sees that drag queens' high heels snap easily since they have only women's shoes to wear, rather than those that can support the weight of a larger male body frame. Back in Northampton, while in the process of making his workers redundant, one employee, Lauren, gives Charlie the idea of looking for a niche market product to save the business. Charlie then recruits Lauren to assist him in designing a high-heeled boot for Lola, initially as a thank-you, but later as a means of finding a niche to save the factory.
When their initial designs are met with scorn by Lola, Charlie and Lauren bring her on as a consultant. The road is initially bumpy: many of the male employees are uncomfortable with Lola's presence and the new direction, and Charlie's relationship with his fiancée, Nicola, begins to deteriorate as she encourages him to sell the company. Although things improve when Lola tones down her personality and starts making friends, matters take a turn for the worse when Charlie is invited to showcase the new boots in Milan; the strain he puts on his employees causes most of them, including Lola, to walk out.
Charlie's fiancée arrives at the factory, furious that he took out a second mortgage on their house to save the company. Nicola insists that he sell the company, but Charlie is determined to save it and the jobs of his employees. The argument (which ends with Nicola leaving Charlie) is broadcast on the factory's PA system, which is overheard by Lauren and Lola's bitterest opponent at the factory, Don, a chauvinistic male worker who turns over a new leaf after Lola had graciously allowed him to win the arm wrestling match he was the champion in, and rallies the factory workers to make the boots in time for Charlie and Lauren to get to Milan. After arriving in Milan with no one to model the boots, Charlie is forced to go onstage and model the boots himself as the ultimate symbol of his dedication to his workers and his acceptance of Lola. After tripping and ultimately falling flat on his face, Lola and her posse of drag queens arrive, put on a spectacular runway show, and save the day.
In the film's denouement, Lola headlines her own show and sings a song in honor of the "kinky boots factory" of Northampton. Most of the key workers are in attendance and enjoying themselves, including Charlie and Lauren, who have become a couple.
- Joel Edgerton as Charlie
- Sebastian Hurst-Palmer as Young Charlie
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Lola
- Courtney Philip as Young Lola
- Sarah-Jane Potts as Lauren
- Jemima Rooper as Nicola
- Nick Frost as Don
- Linda Bassett as Melanie
- Robert Pugh as Harold Price
- Ewan Hooper as George
- Stephen Marcus as Big Mike
- Mona Hammond as Pat
- Kellie Bright as Jeannie
- Joanna Scanlan as Trish
- Geoffrey Streatfeild as Richard Bailey
- Leo Bill as Harry Sampson
An episode of BBC2 documentary series Trouble at the Top, broadcast on 24 February 1999, inspired the film  the former featured Steve Pateman struggling with possible closure of W.J. Brooks Ltd, a family-controlled Earls Barton, Northamptonshire shoe factory, that soon catered to the male market for fetish footwear under the "Divine" brand.
- "Whatever Lola Wants" – Chiwetel Ejiofor (2:12)
- "In These Shoes" – Kirsty MacColl (3:39)
- "I Want to Be Evil" – Chiwetel Ejiofor (2:34)
- "Mr. Big Stuff" – Lyn Collins (4:00)
- "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" – James Brown (3:17)
- "I Put a Spell on You" – Nina Simone (2:36)
- "The Prettiest Star" – David Bowie (3:09)
- "Together We Are Beautiful" – Chiwetel Ejiofor (4:10)
- "Yes Sir I Can Boogie" – Chiwetel Ejiofor (4:20)
- "Wild Is the Wind" – Nina Simone (6:59)
- "The Red Shoes" – Adrian Johnston (4:26)
- "Steel Shank" – Adrian Johnston (3:39)
- "Free to Walk" – Adrian Johnston (3:39)
The following songs are included in the film but are not on the Original Soundtrack:
- “My Heart Belongs to Daddy – Chiwetel Ejiofor
- “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” – Chiwetel Ejiofor
- "Summer Holiday" – Jemima Rooper
Critical response 
The film earned a total of $9,941,428 internationally.
Ejiofor was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
A stage musical adaptation of the same name Kinky Boots debuted on Broadway in April 2013, following an out-of-town try-out at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago; Cyndi Lauper, music and lyrics; and Harvey Fierstein, co-wrote book. Director Jerry Mitchell is also the choreographer.
The Chicago cast included: Billy Porter and Stark Sands. At the 67th Tony Awards (2013) won six Tony Awards, including Tony Award for Best Original Score (Lauper, first sole female winner), Best Actor (Porter) and Best Musical.
- "KINKY BOOTS (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. 2005-08-23. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
- Kinky Boots (2006) at Box Office Mojo
- Dowd, Vincent (2013-06-18). "BBC News - Kinky Boots inspiration comes out of the shadows". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
- "BBC Two - Trouble at the Top, Series 3, Kinky Boot Factory". Bbc.co.uk. 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
- "Trouble at the Top: Season 3, Episode 1 : The Kinky Boot Factory (24 Feb. 1999)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
- "The real story behind those kinky boots - Northampton Chronicle and Echo". Northamptonchron.co.uk. 2005-10-06. Retrieved 2013-11-30.
- "Kinky Boots: Original Soundtrack". iTunes.
- "Kinky Boots Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- Jones, Kenneth. "Kinky Boots Musical Will Kick It Up in Chicago in October, Prior to Broadway". Playbill.com, February 22, 2012
- Jones, Kenneth (2008-07-08). "Kinky Boots, the Musical, Walking Toward Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- Jones, Chris. "'Kinky Boots' announces full cast". ChicagoTribune.com, June 28, 2012
- Purcell, Carey (June 9, 2013). "Kinky Boots, Vanya and Sonia, Pippin and Virginia Woolf? Are Big Winners at 67th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
- Official website
- Kinky Boots at the Internet Movie Database
- Kinky Boots at Box Office Mojo
- Kinky Boots at Rotten Tomatoes
- Kinky Boots at Metacritic
- The differences from the film and real-life