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My Beautiful Laundrette [DVD]

Saeed Jaffrey , Roshan Seth , Stephen Frears    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: 6.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Richard Graham, Winston Graham
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Writers: Hanif Kureishi
  • Producers: Sarah Radclyffe, Tim Bevan
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Urdu
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Vci
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sep 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CXW1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,377 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



In case you'd forgotten, My Beautiful Laundrette will remind you of those mid-80s days when Thatcherism ruled the earth (or so it seemed) and money was king. Stephen Frears' low-budget realisation of Hanif Kureishi's subversively critical play captures the contradictions of that time in a way that's as fresh today as when it was new. Omar's wheeler-dealer uncle, Nasser (Saeed Jaffrey), sums it up when he says, "In this damn country, which we hate and love, you can get anything you want". He sets up Omar (Gordon Warnecke) with a rundown laundrette and the instruction to make it a success, which Omar temporarily does, with the help of his childhood friend Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis). When the film first came out, it was the gay content that dominated the column inches, whereas now it seems a sensitive and multi-faceted summation of its decade, exploring social, ethnic and sexual issues and contradictions. Bringing together two such different characters as Omar--Asian, ambitious, for whom success is defined by wealth--and former childhood friend Johnny--white trash, ex-National Front--was inspired. Watching their friendship develop into love, and the ensuing bitterness and misunderstanding that they suffer from friends and family is very poignant. All the lead roles are well taken, the contradictory character of Nasser in particular. By turns, funny, touching and anger-inducing, this is a movie that wears its age lightly and its era proudly.

On the DVD: the picture is in 4:3 ratio with a Dolby Digital soundtrack. There's an original trailer and filmographies of the four main characters, with an additional biography for Day-Lewis. --Harriet Smith

Product Description

Omar (Gordon Warnecke) is a young Asian man whose new responsibility is to vamp up his uncle's (Saeed Jaffrey) launderette. With the help of Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis), an old school friend and ex-National Front thug, Omar begins to succeed in his aim. He and Johnny become lovers, resulting in a riot of abuse from Johnny's ex-associates - who are perturbed by his association with 'the enemy'.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real classic of British Gay cinema 30 Jun 2008
By Andrew
It was made twenty years ago and a lot has changed but it tackles issues that really are still around - racism and homophobia and sexism. In fact I can't believe it was 20 years ago this was made - it really was groundbreaking - portraying positively a deep gay relationship at a time in the UK which was generally very homophobic in nearly all spheres - even the theatre! Daniel Day-Lewis is terrific in his role and any fan of his later work should really see this. It's a challenging film - life's not a bed of roses after all - but I love it because it is a "love conquers all" film. (And it's really quite funny too!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nostalgic classic 24 May 2011
By Tween
although very 'current' when it was first released, this film is now as notable for it's classically 80s feel; everything from the cars, the houses, the hair-dos and the houses screams nostalgia. against a backdrop of recession and heightening racial tensions, a white man and an asian man try to start a business; and fall in love. it's clear that their families know there's 'something' between them, but either don't know or don't want to know exactly what. what I like most about this film is that while everything else in their lives is complicated by the world around them, they fall into their relationship easily; there is no angst that is so common in this genre, and the film concludes on a positive note, suggesting there is hope for their future, despite the bleak circumstances surrounding them.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Slice of the '80s Please 7 Jun 2008
By Taka
It's harder to appreciate this film if you did not grow up in "Thatcher's Britain". If, you did, then this is a vintage helping of politically, racially and sexually charged drama... a classic British kitchen sink drama amidst the soap suds of a South London laundrette. Critics who call it dated are missing the point - of course it's dated! It captured the zeitgeist of the time - race, class and making money. The humour and romance are gentle and never laid on heavily enough to undermine the tension between the main characters. Saeed Jaffrey deserves special mention for his pompous archetypal rapacious '80s entrepreneur, who just occasionally shows his heart. Great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sudsing for Britain 28 April 2013
By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER
My Beautiful Laundrette is one of the seminal films of the 80s and possibly one of the top half-dozen films ever made in Britain, I think. Anyone who was around at the time remembers it as somehow a defining moment of that decade in the way it captures the mood of the times while also having great originality. The script by Hanif Kureishi is deft in its characterisations, and avoids any sense of a soap opera (!) by tapping into a fantasy vein in some of the goings-on - a two-timed wife putting some kind of spell on the mistress which results in a rash, for instance, or, more pleasantly, a delightful sequence bang in the middle of the film. It is the grand opening of the refurbished laundrette, and with an assembled crowd waiting outside, the two men disappear into the office and have sex, practically in sight of the crowd, and then the owner and aforementioned mistress arrive and start waltzing around in front of the machines as if there is no one there. It is shot in such a way that you see one couple against the other, implying the symmetry of genuine feeling, in both cases denied by convention. But the effect is so full of fantasy and joy you imagine Saeed Jaffrey and Shirley Anne Field could be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The most amazing thing is how the tone of the film can embrace this sequence in the midst of the sharp social commentary as well.

Some reviewers have found fault with the acting, particularly that of lead actor Gordon Warnecke, but it seems to me that his naivety and determination are very well caught. It is very much the spirit of youth, especially as it was back then. It was a less knowing era ... and the contrast with Daniel Day-Lewis's saturnine Johnny is perfect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A testament of the times 20 Nov 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A wonderfully quirky story about life in the 80's. Initially controversial because of the same sex relationship the two main characters share. I liked it most of all because it makes no big deal about the fact that both of them are men, it's just a love story.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unconventional, yet inspiring 11 Dec 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Despite the unconventional (for the mainstream audience) homosexual romance at the centre of the film, My Beautiful Laundrette is definately not an exploration of alternative sexuality. Instead, Kureidhi treats his gay couple as he would do any young lovers who have to struggle against the insurmountable odds to be togeteher. Omar and Johnny's romance successfully survives the racial battle between native Britons and Pakistani newcomers, the moral battle between liberalism and conservatism, the intellectual battle between idealism and pragmatic capatalism, and the political battle between Prime Minister Thatcher and the inner city, working class. In a summary, Jonathon Becks' performance was inspirational!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 3 July 2014
By nicki
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
rubbish film but cheap
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 4 Jun 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Again I have to say it's still got it the warmth and the well delineated characters a brilliant movie !
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Blank tape
once again i have been sold a blank dvd i am very upset by this i pay my hard earned money for a dvd only to be ripped off and receive a blank dvd....NEVER AGAIN....
Published 2 months ago by Claudina Greaves
4.0 out of 5 stars Gay love in the Thatcher era
'My Beautiful Laundrette' is a quirky film which evokes a tougher era than the present one, with racial and economic tensions forming a backdrop to a Britain whose ethos seems to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mike K
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
A brilliant film that was so ahead of its time when it was first released in 1985 , particularly as it shows skinheads and punks, and was a less tolerant society generally. Read more
Published 7 months ago by lisa michelle beddoe
3.0 out of 5 stars Give it a miss
Saw this film when it first came out and really enjoyed it. However on viewing it today, I realise it is very dated with poor acting from the main character.
Published 15 months ago by Heather, Scotland
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
This was bought as a present and the recipient was more than pleased as they are great Daniel Day-Lewis fans
Published 16 months ago by J C SUMMERS
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The perfect example of Film4's influence on the British film industry. It's many years since I last saw this film and it was every bit as good.
Published 17 months ago by Pete
5.0 out of 5 stars must see film
had this dvd on video years ago. Such a good film that i just had to buy this on dvd.
Published 24 months ago by holdenn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Excellent film made in 80s , remains a classic. Themes of homosexuality and race, worth a watch if you haven't seen it.
Published on 1 July 2012 by Helen P. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars " In this Damned Country, that we hate and love...."
So says Saeed Jaffrey, easily one of the most recognisable Indian actors, at the film's start and sets the tone for this early Film 4 offering from 1985 as the wheeler-dealer... Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2012 by Tim Kidner
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