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Riff-Raff [PAL/REGION 2 DVD. Import-Spain]

Robert Carlyle , Emer McCourt , Ken Loach  |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Region 2 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Carlyle, Emer McCourt, Jimmy Coleman, David Finch
  • Directors: Ken Loach
  • Format: PAL, Import, Dolby, Subtitled, Dubbed, Full Screen
  • Language: Castilian
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00110PFKS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

SYNOPSIS: Socialist-leaning British director Ken Loach kicked off a decade's worth of acclaimed cinema with this surprisingly comic tale of working class laborers at a North London building site, written by Bill Jesse, a real-life construction worker who died before the film's release. Scottish ex-con Stevie (Robert Carlyle) finds work on a non-union crew converting a hospital into luxury condos. Like most of his coworkers, Stevie is homeless and finds a place to live by squatting in an abandoned building. The crew is exploited by its supervisors and endures unsafe conditions, and pay is so low that the men use false names so that they won't have to pay taxes. Stevie discovers a lost handbag, and when he returns it to the owner, a spacey hopeful singer named Susan (Emer McCourt), he falls in love. He and Susan are soon living together -- then Stevie discovers that his girlfriend is a habitual drug user. Meanwhile, the most outspoken worker, Larry (Ricky Tomlinson) loses his job when he questions authority once too often. Loach cast only actors who had construction experience in the film, kicking off the career of Carlyle, who later surged to stardom in The Full Monty (1997).

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough in the trenches. April 27, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
In some ways I felt as though I'd died and gone to heaven the first time I saw Riff Raff, an out and out honest look at working class men of varied, and sometimes dubious, backgrounds connected through their work on a construction sight in London.
The cast of characters defines the term `mixed bag'. I couldn't help but think of a half dozen or so Archie Bunkers on the job site, each one with their own set of priorities, talking about the most important thing in the world, to no one but himself. It all brings a smile to my face.
Our closest look is at Stevie (Robert Carlyle of "The Full Monty"), a former petty thief, who works with a crew converting condos for the nouveau riche, while he's forced to break into an abandoned building just to find a place to squat.
Director Ken Loach expertly focuses on the lower class in Britain (witness his brilliant 1999 feature-"My Name is Joe") where the honesty laced with humor of his viewpoint tends to provide humanity to an otherwise ignored sect. To shine a bit of light on an otherwise dismal existence as it may.
Loach's characters are never overly redemptive: they don't hit the lottery; aren't left millions by a dead aunt; or marry a rich suitor. And the ending here is a bit short, trite. But they usually come through the film a little stronger having weathered their travails, feeling a little better about themselves. I dare say we come through feeling a little better about ourselves as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WORKING-CLASS HEROES June 16, 2007
Format:VHS Tape
Director Ken Loach's RIFF-RAFF earned the 1991 European Film Award in the Best Film category. It was also Robert Carlyle's first film and the only screenplay written by Bill Jesse. Jesse was a former construction worker who used to put on paper little anecdotes about his work or about his comrades. For more information about him, buy the zone 2 DVD of RIFF RAFF available at which offers as bonus feature a very interesting interview with Ken Loach.

RIFF-RAFF is more a comedy than a realist drama and some of its little stories are really hilarious like when Larry takes a bath in the sole fully equipped apartment of the building while veiled ladies are just about to visit this particular flat. The final scene of RIFF-RAFF reminds us that Ken Loach's characters, even if they belong to the lowest social classes, are also entitled to enjoy the flavour of revenge.

A VHS to throw into the garbage can as soon as the zone 1 DVD is available.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun January 27, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Ken Loach's excellent eye for humour, which can go missing from time to time, is well to the fore in this highly enjoyable film. Of course the socialist indignation is never far from the surface, and if there is one criticism, it would be that the left's version of regional stereotypes is alittle too obvious. But there are many nice human touches and enough substance to amke this a film worth viewing more than once.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars warning - plot disclosures February 15, 2006
A very dark social commentary on English laborers today - nothing goes right and in the end they burn the building site where they work. Romance doesn't work out either - family is on drugs, Mom dies, and the work has been torched. Loach has been for many years now the director for the English working class, and has done a magnificent job of it. His work is always riveting. Not always pleasant, but that does not make it less worthy. You may know what happens, but not why or how, and of course, that is what counts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for an Indy film February 1, 2013
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
As a fan of Robert Carlyle, I've been going back through his filmography & watching whatever I can find. I think this was one of his first movies and it was pretty good for an independent film. It's kind of rough around the edges & the story is on the darker side, but well worth seeing. In fact, I wish more of his earlier work was available...some titles are almost impossible to find.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Riff Raff June 4, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I received this in great condition and enjoyed the dvd. Of course I could use english subtitles with Scotish films. But all in all it was very good. Hope to see more soon.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
For all Robert Carlyle fans this movie is worth buying,I would have given 5 star rating Had the dialogue been easier to understand. The movie shoes what happens quite well when corrupt building practices are tolerated.
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