The Full Monty

Director: Peter Cattaneo
Screenwriters: Simon Beaufoy

Institute History

  • 1997 Sundance Film Festival


Peter Cattaneo, whose realist drama Loved Up was particularly well received at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, demonstrates his dexterity in the sparkling wit and keen perception of this comedy about a group of out-of-work Englishmen who find a way to escape their doleful existence. Broke, unable to find a meaningful job, and not capable of even stealing a living, these ex-steelworkers survive on government welfare and ill humor. Their family lives are broken or dysfunctional, their futures nonexistent.

When by chance they stumble into a club with a Chippendales-style male strip act. When Gaz, a thirty-year-old hustler, gets the inane inspiration that they can make a few bob by setting up their own show, he manages to cajole his best friend Dave into joining him and convincing their mates to disrobe onstage. This scheme might make some sense if some of the group weren’t middle-aged, somewhat overweight, or just plain the antithesis of sex symbols. The Full Monty features a terrific cast, headed by Trainspotting’s Robert Carlyle in a distinctly different role; the sounds of Donna Summer, Gary Glitter, and Sister Sledge underscoring the routines; and an especially unforgettable finale. Cattaneo has directed an alternately touching and hilarious portrait of men desperate enough to do anything to change their lives.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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