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Brassed Off!

129 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jun 15, 1999)
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Editorial Reviews

This delightfully entertaining comedy treat features hot screen stars Ewan McGregor (STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE, MOULIN ROUGE) and sexy Tara Fitzgerald (SIRENS). It's the critically acclaimed story about two old friends -- and ex-lovers -- whose surprise reunion turns their lives ... and the lives of everyone else in town ... hilariously upside down! Also starring screen favorite Pete Postlethwaite (JURASSIC PARK: THE LOST WORLD; THE USUAL SUSPECTS) -- don't miss the fun of the laugh-filled comedy that entertained and captivated audiences everywhere!

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor, Stephen Tompkinson, Jim Carter
  • Directors: Mark Herman
  • Writers: Mark Herman
  • Producers: Olivia Stewart, Steve Abbott
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: June 15, 1999
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IQC5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,278 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brassed Off!" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 102 people found the following review helpful By John DiBello on May 6, 2000
Format: DVD
I'll bet you don't remember this little gem of a British film at your local passed us by quickly and quietly, and I only hope it can have a strong life in video. But the video's cover is just another sign that the studio just didn't know what to make of this movie or how to promote it. Tara Fitzgerald and Ewan MacGregor on the cover make it look like a love story, which is certainly an element of the plot, but one of many, and certainly not the most important. A British mining town is threatened with closure of the mines, which will put much of the population out of work. Unconcerned with this all is Danny (a brilliant Pete Postlethwaite), the leader of the mine's brass band group, so intent on winning the national championships that he doesn't see at first the turmoil as the members of his band face unemployment--including his own son. There's a triumph at the end, but a bittersweet one, when, at the end, Danny declares that music doesn't's people that matter (a sound bite you probably already recognize--it was sampled at the beginning of Chumbawamba's hit "Tubthumping"). The most logical comparable to this film (and one nearly everyone makes) is "The Full Monty," but this movie came first, and doesn't sacrifice the realities of the British unemployment problem at the expense of laughs. And if you think you don't enjoy brass band music, "Brassed Off" will go a long way towards changing your mind--this is *not* oompah-pah-pah music of your high-school marching band. Music dramatically underscores the lives of the characters and the tone of the movie.Read more ›
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This excellent movie suffered from some dodgy marketing. Ewan MacGregor was splashed all over the publicity as a result of his role in "Trainspotting", and while he plays a central role in it very well indeed, he's only one of a superb ensemble of actors.
The Yorkshire miners' strike of the mid-80s was, so far, the last great stand of the British working-class against the encroaching forces of capital and "economic efficiency". The mines were the source of not just wealth, but the dignity of entire communities. Coal mining is a back-breaking, filthy, dangerous and ultimately murderous job, and it was the danger and the sweat that gave the communities their pride. One of the things that this pride fostered was the incredible virtuosity of the brass bands. I was never a great fan of brass band music until I saw this movie, but the music in it (played by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, one of the most distinguished bands in the country) is not dull marching music but fantastically intricate and moving stuff. These guys weren't academy-trained musicians, they were mine workers who learned it in their spare time.
And yet, one of the central points of the film is that we can all sit back and enjoy the music but little was done by anyone but the miners themselves to stop the destruction and demoralisation of the communities that produced it. That's what gives the film its tragic force, despite the resilience and good humour displayed along the way. (This is also a funny film, if a very sad one.)
Much of the weight of the tragedy falls on two characters - Danny, the bandmaster, and his son Phil, a trombone player in the band.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael Meredith VINE VOICE on June 9, 2003
Format: DVD
The heritage of the English coal mines (collieries as they are called) has been a mixed one of industrial production, labor strife and music. Music? Indeed, the existence and competition of employee brass bands formed as a diversionary activity for the miners is overlooked by most people born outside of the English coal mining commmunities. What began as a mild diversion has since provided a rich legacy of music that should not be ignored. But musical legacy notwithstanding, there are other factors at play in this wonderful little movie like the Tory policies of Margaret Thatcher's U.K. and the forced closure of many mines over recent years.
The idyllic (although certainly not prosperous) existence of one such group of miners is attacked on two fronts; first by threats to close down the colliery, but the addition of a woman (Tara Fitzgerald) to the all male ensemble is even more unsettling. Her talent as a flugelhornist is as bothersome to the members of the band, as her beauty is to one bandmate in particular (Ewen MacGregor). Ms. Fitzgerald has to be the best kept secret in the British cinema as she combines fantastic ability with an almost sublime beauty. I'd rent a "How to Fix a Flat Tire" movie if it featured Tara's face and lyrical voice.
Besides the lovely Ms. Fitzgerald, two other actors stand out. Ewen MacGregor shows more range in this role than both of his Star Wars appearances thus far (he also has a much better script to work with). And Pete Postlethwaite would have received an Academy Award nomination had more people simply seen this movie. Postlethwaite is something of a British William H. Macy; he's always rock solid in his character and talented enough to give uniqueness to each character he plays.
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