2012 Running time: 101 Certificate: 12 Not yet rated

Synopsis

A pub syndicate of Cockney newspaper workers pools its cash to buy a thoroughbred jumper in this nostalgic British comedy starring a rich array of old UK stagers. Bob Hoskins, Jenny Agutter and Rita Tushingham are among the seasoned thoroughbreds in a jolly run-out that tips a rose-tinted hat at the end of the print unions, saloon bar singalongs and the sounds of the Eighties. Worth a flutter.

Director

  • Sacha Bennett

Cast

  • Bob Hoskins

  • Jenny Agutter

  • Vincent Regan

  • Kate Magowan

  • Adam Deacon

Review

It's the fag end of the 1970s and a close-knit band of London newspaper printers are facing an uncertain future thanks to the Wapping newspaper revolution.

A berth in the "print" has traditionally meant a job for life with an overstaffed shift open to the sort of abuse that means you clock on...and then go home.

Printer's son Mark "Bax" Baxter (MacNab) has been looking forward to a cushy career until - grassed up a fellow ink - the management decide to declare war on an ignoble history of Spanish practices.

So together with his old dad's buddies - Communist shop steward Smudge (Hoskins), pencil-tached lothario Johnny Gossamer (Stone) and sharp-suited shoe salesman Sam the Soleman (Deacon) - he hits on the idea of buying a racehorse and winning a fortune.

Basically, Bonded by Blood director Sacha Bennett has created a companion piece to creaking 70s Britcom Mutiny on the Buses with a dash of Only Fools and Horses and Minder. 

Old Brit stagers like Rita Tushingham and Dudley Sutton share screen time with UK cinema's gilded youth, including BAFTA-winner Adam Deacon and newcomer Emily Atack's blousy barmaid, a sort of Babs Windsor-in-waiting.

It's all amiable enough in the manner of a traditional Saturday night down the boozer. 

Tim Evans

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