No Surrender (1985)
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Can't see many Americans liking this black comedy, but most Brits with a half decent sense of humour should love it. I first saw this in 1986 and loved it, as a follow up to `The Blackstuff'.
Writer Bleasedale had great success writing for T.V. and I'm surprised he didn't do more films (this was his only film). This was one of my favourite films of the eighties so I bought the video to see if it had stood the test of time. I gave this 10 / 10 in 1986, and even though it is dated, the gritty humour shines through the underlying theme of sectarian divide, that still existed at the time.
Bernard Hill plays a " Yosser type" bouncer, at a Liverpool social club. Michael Angelis plays the laid back new manager, as a typical scouser who's seen it all. Joanne Whalley plays the club's dogsbody, with ambitions to be a singer, and does a great job. The film is loaded with great character actors including the marvellous Joan Turner.
Thankfully the world has moved on from the mid 1980s which means the humour of this film has dated to the point of being painfully unfunny - and quite right too . Most of the humour in this plot less tale comes out of party of catholic OAP bigots being booked in to a nightclub with a party of protestant OAP bigots . Watching it today I thought I'd never start laughing at this subplot - and I didn't . No one laughs at the " N " word so what's funny about shouts of " ya fenian b*stards " and " ya orange b*stards " ? Nothing . That said there is some amusement watching a Rangers -Celtic match which in secular circles is known as " The chimps tea party " and realising that people who can't stand either team are ahead in the evolutionary ladder by about 300 years
The better scenes are those when Michael Angelis nightclub manager Mike and Bernard Hill's thick , thuggish and homophobic bouncer Bernard appear on screen together . Shades of Alan Bleasdale's previous and legendary landmark scathing blackly comical series BOYS FROM THE BLACKSTUFF whose cast make several reappearances here . That reminds me I'll have to visit BLACKSTUFF but I've got a feeling that drama is also dated