Calendar Girls 2003

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(87) IMDb 6.9/10
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Helen Mirren and Julia Walters star in this British comedy based on a true story. Two middle-aged best friends, Chris Harper (Mirren) and Annie Clarke (Walters), are also members of a North Yorkshire Women's Institute group. When Annie's husband (John Alderton) is diagnosed with leukemia, they decide to try and raise money for a new leukemia unit in the local hospital. But they don't go down the usual W.I. route. Instead they hit on the idea of a calendar with an extra twist and craft a tastefully nude calendar featuring the ladies' usual activities of baking, gardening and flower arranging. The calendar quickly becomes a best-seller and the women then find themselves on their way to Hollywood.

Starring:
John Alderton, Helen Mirren
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 45 minutes
Starring John Alderton, Helen Mirren, Annette Crosbie, Linda Bassett, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie, Julie Walters
Director Nigel Cole
Genres Comedy
Studio TOUCHSTONE HOME VIDEO
Rental release 9 February 2004
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By jackieg1 on 13 Dec 2004
Format: DVD
Based on the book of the same name Calendar Girls is a truly marvellous film with the support of a great cast.
This is the somewhat sad story of one of the husbands of the Calendar Girls who gets cancer and when treatment fails, dies. A group of the WI women get together and produce an alternative WI Calendar and then comes the story of the calendar's success and the huge amount of money raised for cancer research.
It is difficult to say why this film is so good. Safe to say it deals with a very difficult subject with consideration but also shows that there are times of laughter as well as great sadness.
A film that I could watch again and again.
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115 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jan 2004
Format: DVD
In 1999, eleven members of the District Women's Institute in Rylstone, North Yorkshire, England posed starkers on a year 2000 calendar printed up to collect funds to benefit leukemia research after the death of John Baker, Assistant National Park Officer for the Yorkshire Dales and husband of WI member Angela, of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1998. What made the venture unusual was that the models were all just local ladies in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. In the UK, 88,000 copies were eventually sold, and 250,000 in the States. CALENDAR GIRLS, based on this story, has been characterized by a principal as about 75% accurate in the re-telling, with the remainder being scriptwriter's embellishment for comedic or dramatic effect. The original idea for the calendar was suggested by Angela's friend, Tricia Stewart.
In the film adaptation, Helen Mirren plays Chris Harper (based on real-life Tricia Stewart) and Julie Walters and John Alderton play Annie and John Clark respectively (based on Angela and John Baker). The calendar saga, from conception to realization and international fame, is centered in the fictional village of Knapley. Harper originally gets the idea after 1) finding a soft porn magazine hidden in her teenage son's room and 2) noticing a girlie calendar on the wall of a village shop. The plan is to produce and sell 500 copies of the calendar to raise the 900 pounds necessary to buy a new sofa for the Relatives' Waiting Room in the local hospital in which John Clark died of his disease. Not only must Chris and Annie surmount the understandable reluctance of their friends and fellow WI members to pose nude (not "naked"), but also convince the chairwomen of the District and National WI that the reputation of the organization won't be sullied.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. Pincott on 16 Dec 2003
Format: DVD
Calendar girls is a typically Britsh film and has echoes of Full Monty running through it. However it is the excellent cast of British actresses, Julie Walters, Helen Mirren, Annette Crosbie to name but a few that really make this movie something special. You will be surprised by the number of faces that you recognise in this film, like John Alderton, and not all of them in major roles.
It has that understated quality that makes it very believable and draws the audience into the story, triggering emotions along with the experiences of the characters. There are films that have made me laugh and some that have made me cry, this is the first that did both at the same time. There are a number of human issues dealt with in the film without overt drama but in a warm and very genuine manner.
And there is most definitely humour. Definitely a British classic and one for the collection!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Jan 2006
Format: DVD
Waited to see this DVD and wasn't disappointed. Watch the bonus bit about the background and the photographer's point of view before you see the movie as I hadn't realised it was a true story until the end. It was an amazing mix of emotion, joy, humour, drama. Wonderful casting of many gorgeous actresses who portrayed the ordinary women who made the calendar. Their husbands were also well cast. Yorkshire scenery was delightful. Helen Mirren excelled with her northern accent & Julie Walters delivered as usual. All acting faultless. A delight.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Rushforth VINE VOICE on 19 Feb 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful, enjoyable film based on fact which I am sure all will enjoy. And it has the bonus of the beautiful scenery of Wharfedale, including shots of Kettlewell, Buckden and Kilnsey Crag.
It is the almost unbelievable story of a simple decision to produce a calendar in memory of Angela's husband John Baker, w the Assistant National Park Warden who, unfortunately, died at what,these days, is a young age from leukaemia. The calendar was intended to be just for local interest but as we all now know became a best seller here and in the USA with
profits going to leukaemia research.

Although there is the sadness of John's death the film is by no means without humour from summoning up the initial courage to strip for the calendar to their experiences in America.
The film has particular memories for me because I was priviledged to know John from him being about 14 years of age. When we moved into our previous house John and his parents lived opposite to us and John used to deliver our copy of the local evening newspaper. We saw him grow up, go to university, get married to Angela and, in due course, bring his children to visit his parents.
The stars play these sensitive parts wonderfully and believably. And, if you look carefully, you will see some of the original calendar girls in two or three of the crowd scenes.
DVD buyers will have the additional treat of seeing interviews with some of the original 'girls', including Angela, in their own homes. Their efforts have now raised more than £1,000,000 for LEUKAEMIA RESEARCH.
Many other charities have gained by the 'copy cats' who, seeing the success of the Rylstone WI calendar, have also stripped off too produce calendars.
I am sure you will enjoy this film. It is one which you can watch more than once.
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