Once Upon a Time in the Midlands

Release Date: August 29, 2003
Limited release

I could've sworn this drive-in was showing The Full Monty.

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This British import tells the tale of Dek, a mild-mannered man who lives with the woman he loves, Shirley, and Shirley’s 12-year-old daughter, Marlene, whose father, Jimmy, went off to the badlands of Glasgow some years back and hasn’t been heard from since. Dek loves Shirley more than life itself, and decides to profess his love by proposing to her on national television. Unfortunately for Dek, Shirley is humiliated by his choice and turns him down flat. And to add the proverbial insult to injury, Jimmy - along with nearly everybody else Shirley has ever known - was witness to Dek’s engagement debacle, and returns to town determined to reclaim Shirley’s affections. Jimmy is sure he’s going to win Shirley’s heart, and it seems likely Shirley will once again succumb to the bounder’s charms, until Jimmy and Shirley’s relatives begin to ally themselves against Jimmy, and a last-minute, heroic challenge to the bad-boy is made by the rejected, love-sick Dek.

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands debuted at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, and has been playing in Europe in the interim. The film is now receiving a limited release in the US beginning August 29, 2003. Given the breakout of such previous Brit-coms as The Full Monty - which shares a star in common with Midlands - and Waking Ned Devine, there is a possibility that Midlands could enjoy quite a run on the art-house circuit. Reviews have so far been mostly positive, with many commenting on the engaging cast and the loopy humor of the script. Word-of-mouth will be key to Midlands’ success in the States; if early goers create a buzz, then Midlands could see a nice run at the box office before heading to the home market.
(Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Once Upon a Time in the Midlands
Main Cast Rhys Ifans, Robert Carlyle, Shirley Henderson, Finn Atkins
Supporting Cast Vanessa Feltz, Ricky Tomlinson, Kathy Burke, Kelly Thresher, Andrew Shim, Ryan Bruce, Eliot Otis Brown Walters, Anthony Strachan, David McKay, James Cosmo
Director Shane Meadows
Screenwriter Paul Fraser, Shane Meadows
Distributor Sony Pictures Classics
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Rating R
Running Time 104 minutes
Screen Count 6
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Once Upon a Time in the Midlands
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Shakespeare in Love 1/22/993.63 4.32 655 5542.00 6327.5 100.24 119.45 21.48
Angela's Ashes 1/21/003.22 3.60 610 5279.00 5680.6 13.04 14.58 3.92
Full Monty, The 9/19/973.02 3.96 650 4646.00 5870.8 45.95 60.36 12.82



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