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ONCE UPON A TIME
IN THE MIDLANDS
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: FilmFour Ltd
Cast: Robert Carlyle, Rhys Ifans, Kathy Burke, Shirley Henderson, Ricky Tomlinson, Vanessa Feltz, Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Finn Atkins, Eliot Otis Brown Walters, Ryan Bruce, Andrew Shim, Kelly Thresher
Director: Shane Meadows
Countries: UK / Germany / The Netherlands
UK: 104 mins
USA Rated: R for language
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 29 August 2003 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 6 September 2002
Dek (Rhys Ifans, NOTTING HILL) is a gentle giant with two passions in his life: his souped up Ford Sierra 'Baby' and his girlfriend Shirley (Shirley Henderson, 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE). A father figure to Shirley's 12 year old daughter Marlene (Finn Atkins), Dek wants to make an honest woman of Shirley and when she decides to go on a day time chat show to support her best friend Carol (Kathy Burke, Kevin & Perry Go Large), he sees his chance.
After Carol has finished complaining about her estranged husband's (Ricky Tomlinson, MIKE BASSETT: ENGLAND MANAGER) obsession for country & western music, Dek walks on and proposes to Shirley live on air... only to be pitifully turned down. Whilst Dek is left to contemplate his future with Shirley in Nottingham, up in Glasgow, Jimmy (Robert Carlyle, THE FULL MONTY) has to rethink his. As Carol's foster brother and Marlene's real father, Jimmy walked out on Shirley years before to pursue a life of crime in Scotland with a gang of fellow reprobates. Having seen Dek's proposal on TV, Jimmy suddenly decides it's time to reclaim his woman and heads south... swiftly followed by the gang he has just conned.
However things don't go as planned as Jimmy faces opposition from all sides, including his own daughter, though it is Dek who initially suffers the biggest blows as his rival tries to ride him out of town. In a physical and emotional showdown, Dek must prove he is worthy of his woman and convince Shirley to choose him over the reckless Jimmy.