In Thatcher-era Britain, a group of life-long friends have just lost their jobs as the world seemingly shifts towards the future in front of their eyes. Determined to do something that counts, they invest their savings in a racehorse and gamble everything on one final race. Based on the novel Weighed In: The Story of The Mumper
Ever been tempted to invest in a racehorse? That's one of the questions at the heart of the very British comedy Outside Bet
. Set during the 1980s, it follows the members of a print workers club, who, when they're made redundant, decide to club together their funds. Their investment is something of an all-or-nothing one, as they pretty much gamble everything on their pipe dream.
Outside Bet is based on a true story, originally captured in the book The Mumper, and some wise decisions were made on its journey to the screen. Chief amongst them was the casting of Bob Hoskins, Jenny Agutter and Phil Davis, who lead a strong British company of actors. They inject enough earth and charm to keep the film moving along. There are interesting undercurrents to the movie, too, not least considering the backdrop to the project, and it's the kind of movie that Britain continues to do particularly well.
It might not have made that much of an impact in cinemas, and the DVD itself may not have anything of particular note to shout about. But the core film itself is a little gem, and well worth taking the time to discover. Warmly recommended.--Jon Foster