Made in Britain (1983)


“Bollocks!”

made-in-britain

Made in Britain – film review

Made in Britain is a 1983 British drama, directed by Alan Clarke (Scum) and starring a very young Tim Roth. Apparently he got the role purely by chance, walking into the audition looking for a bicycle pump. It was originally filmed as a ‘made for TV’ movie and has a fairly short duration of just 73 minutes. But they’re some pretty explosive minutes.

The story follows sixteen year old Trevor (Roth) – an angry, racist young thug who has just been charged with throwing a brick through a Pakistani man’s shop window. Still technically classed as a child, Trevor is given one last chance of salvation through an assessment centre for juveniles. But can Trevor’s social worker Harry (Eric Richard) save him from a life of crime, poverty and destruction – or will it be too late?

So what was right with it? Tim Roth’s acting is brilliant. He is so believable as Trevor who I found very unlikeable for most of the film. Maybe if I’d watched it as a teenager I might have empathised with him more, being ‘misundemade-in-britain-800-75rstood’ and the ‘underdog’ – but watching it as a (very liberal minded) adult, I just found him annoying and arrogant. And I got to the point where I was shouting at the TV (that happens a lot) – fed up with Trevor’s ignorant attitude, even towards caring adults trying to help him.

And from the opening scene that plays loud, British punk there is never a dull moment. Some of the film can be uncomfortable to watch, Trevor is a racist, hates authority and is rude towards anyone he disagrees with – which as I can work out, is pretty much everyone. If he had a catchphrase it would definitely be ‘bollocks’. Trevor’s attitude does of course work in the film’s favour too – as most scenes are fairly exciting as we begin to learn that he won’t be silenced too easily. You never know what he’ll do next and that is obviously quite fun to watch.

It would be churlish not to point out too of course, Trevor’s good points. I suppose to some extent he is quite brave – he also proves himself to be extremely resourceful and his ‘high intelligence’ is spoken about continually by social worker Harry and other authority figures desperate to help him.

madeinbritain2

There is one scene in particular that is pretty powerful and Trevor is silenced for the first time. It is a pinnacle scene where Trevor’s past life and future prospects are outlined to him, no holds barred and for the first time, he stops sneering and listens. I imagine this scene could be likened to the one in Scum where Archer offers his philosophies on the borstal system.

Anything wrong with it? Well not really but it will depend on the viewer. Some people may find it a bit dated and grainy now, obviously the quality isn’t the best but that didn’t bother me. This is a film about the story, the acting and the way it makes you think. It is gritty real life and if anything the ‘cheap’ feel only adds to the realism of the story, which at times, does have a documentary feel.

I do think that age and background could make a difference when watching Made in Britain. For example if someone were a teenager in the early 80s then perhaps Trevor’s attitude might resonate more with that person, purely just from being a part of that era and remembering the way of life. The decade is well remembered for Thatcherism and a tough time to be working class. Undoubtedly Trevor’s background will have had something to do with his choices. He was still a prick though.

All in all this is a great, thought-provoking film and if you’re a fan of Alan Clarke, Tim Roth or British grit in general, this is a must watch. It’s pretty cheap to buy on Amazon as well, or free if you look it up on YouTube. I thought it had a great ending as well.

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About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to Made in Britain (1983)

  1. Tom says:

    This one sounds right up my alley. Lovely piece Emma.

    • emmakwall says:

      Great, thanks Tom!! Means a lot 🙂

      That’s pretty much the same thought I had, when someone told me about it! I thought….this is for me!! You can watch it on youtube, would be silly not to 🙂

  2. alexraphael says:

    Looks like I need to see this. Fab review Emma.

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Alex! That’s so kind of you to say and means a lot 🙂

      If you have Netflix I’d say you definitely should watch this! Nothing to lose!

  3. Jay says:

    Kinda weird hwo stars are born. Well done.

  4. Tom Schultz says:

    Sounds like just the lad to join up with Alex and his Droogies for a bit of the old ultraviolence. Real horrorshow.

  5. movierob says:

    great review Em. never heard of it, but it doesnt sound like id like it

  6. Top review, Emma! I knew you’d pull it off. It basically echoed my thoughts exactly.

    And thanks for the name drop, I owe you one!

    • emmakwall says:

      Aww even better! Twins forever, I knew we’d agree 🙂

      That’s okay silly!!! You can owe me one sure, but you don’t have to 🙂

      • Of course we were always going to agree!

        I’m definitely going to have to recommend you a bunch of films so you can review them and I can enjoy reading them. If you can be arsed of course!

        Don’t worry, I’ll think of some form of payback… that’s not meant to be as threatening as it looks!

        • emmakwall says:

          Of course!! That’s so nice of you to say that, are you just buttering me up? Your reviews are amazing anyway! They’re always so funny. I haven’t read your most recent ‘weird Japanese film’ you posted but that’s because I like to read it properly and I will read it soon!!!!

          Of course I can be arsed 🙂

          I didn’t take that threateningly anyway! It sounds great! (that’s not meant to be as weird sounding as it looks/sounds…)

          • Thanks, Emma! I’ve just posted another one, so now you have two Japanese snuff film reviews to read. Lucky you!

            Ha! It just looks like the kind of thing that Rutger Hauer might say or something.

  7. Good review, but I also doubt it is a film I will ever watch. Cheers!!

  8. theipc says:

    Clam!!!!!

    This doesn’t sound like my type of movie but I’ll take your word for it!!! Excellent post!

    Love Pen!

  9. table9mutant says:

    Tim Roth is meant to be 16 in this?! Hmm. Great review, Emma! It has me curious… I might have to check it out someday. 🙂 Hey – I assume you love This Is England?

    • emmakwall says:

      Yeah sixteen…….pushing 25! I know I know 🙂 haha!

      Still DEFINITELY worth watching!!!!!! It’s only short and free on youtube 🙂

      I do like This is England but I find it a bit cliché at times. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good film but I think there are better out there. Woody is a lovely character creation though! And the music and clothes are spot on. Did you ever watch the TV series that followed? This is England 86? It was SO depressing!

      Thanks so much for your comment 🙂 🙂

  10. vinnieh says:

    Interesting review Emma.

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