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The Firm [Blu-ray] [2009] [Region Free]

66 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Calum McNab, Daniel Mays, Ebony Gilbert, Ben Shockley, Joanne Matthews
  • Directors: Nick Love
  • Producers: Allan Niblo, James Richardson
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Feb. 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002TXB2V2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,521 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Alan Clarke's 1989 seminal tale of football hooliganism in Thatcher's England is transposed to the early '80s in this creative remake. The film follows Dom (Calum McNab), a young man caught up in the enticing world of firms--football gangs who make merry and spar with the supporters of rival teams. Bright and funny, Dom is easily welcomed into the ranks by the firm's leader, Bex (Paul Anderson). But as Dom is drawn into the escalating violence of his clique, he decides to back out. Doing that, however, is easier said than done. Written and directed by Nick Love, who made the similarly themed The Football Factory, The Firm's greatest departure from the original is following Dom--a relatively minor character in the original--rather than Bex, originally played by Gary Oldman. Exclusive Interview with The Firm's Director Nick Love:

How much inspiration did you take from the original movie when you were filming?
I referenced the original a lot before making my version of the firm, but decided to honour it’s brilliance rather than do a straight remake, as a consequence there are only three scenes from the original in my film. Once we started pre-production, I never watched it again.
Who is your favourite character and why?
Clearly Dom was my favourite character from the original--certainly the most fascinating, as I used him as a point of view for my film. The notion that someone is in a gang that doesn’t like violence was of massive interest to me as a filmmaker. It’s a brilliant irony and something I could relate to.
What makes this movie stand out in the 80’s football firm genre?
It’s accurate and tender, both of equal importance. Life is hard and soft. Films that simply portray this genre as hard are frankly wrong because in any situation I’ve had in my life there have been moments of incredible tenderness.
If you could be any of the characters in The Firm, who would you be?
I would be Bex as he’s the cool cat and doesn’t care what people think about him, but unfortunately I’m more of a Dom in reality!
The Firm has a softer feel at times from your previous films. What influenced you in this change of direction?
The Firm is a softer film than previous work. I think the films you make reflect where you are personally at the time. I have a good life now, gentle pace--nothing like any of the films I’ve made --and maybe it’s come out in The Firm. Also, this reflects back to an earlier question in as much as it’s honest to make a softer film--because as I said, there are always moments of softness.
The wardrobe is a big part of the movie. Where did you manage to get all those tracksuits?
The tracksuits have been a lifelong passion of mine--wore them as I grew up --so I was never going to let it slip by me , finding them was another thing. Bottom line is, I made good contacts as Fila and Tachinni, and they had stuff made from the original patterns for me.
Do you prefer writing books or making movies?
I am writing now and I love it because there’s very little stress--whereas when you are directing you are a lot more exposed. Tthat said, it must be the best job in world and [...] knows how I managed to become a film director!
It’s a World Cup year. Who’s going to win?
England out in semis predictably. Brazil to win. What’s new?
You’re good friends with Guy Ritchie. Did he have any influence in the film? Have you seen and what did you think of the new Sherlock Holmes film?
Guy has become a good friend. It wasn’t always that way--years ago we were like rutting stags. But now we have a mutual admiration for each other’s films and share a love of the countryside--although my house is about as big as his woodshed! His only influence on The Firm was showing up to the premiere in a Fila track-top! I’ve seen Sherlock Holmes and think he’s made a great film--he’s become a true film director--it was an A-list Hollywood film. Pretty amazing for a man that can’t spell.


Director Nick Love knows how to pick up a poisoned chalice. In choosing to tackle a modern day take on Alan Clarke’s 1989 The Firm, he risks the wrath of upsetting those who regard the original so highly, while also being accused of jumping aboard the remake bandwagon. As it turns out, though, he gets away with it all.

Love’s version of The Firm wisely uses the early film as inspiration rather than a firm template. Thus, while the setting remains underground football violence, Love switches the attention to a different character, the youngster breaking into the crowd. This allows the narrative to focus on his becoming accepted by the group, and then his struggle to break free, which settles into a solid three-act story.

It’s very much aimed at an adult audience, but that doesn’t mean that The Firm is a cheap piece of cinema. Far from it, as it happens. Love’s film mixed in sharp violence with sparks of humour, and does so to very good effect. In the process, it sidesteps comparisons to the original by simply going off in a different direction, and works well because of it. It’s a little more tempered than some of Nick Love’s earlier work too, but perhaps as a consequence, it’s also his best film to date. --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. R. Good VINE VOICE on 12 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD
This is a great film. Captures the class divide, 80's Yuppies and the social changes. Those that disagree where probably not even born when this was set. Tough, real, violent and up close. The film captures the feel of the time, perfectly.

With excellent production techniques & casting this feels so much bigger than just a film about football violence. It should be considered a 'cult classic'.
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Format: DVD
Nick Love mercifully gets away from the "saving the nation" vigilante dross of Outlaw to give us an everyday tale of housing estate life and hooliganism, with some rites of passage stuff thrown in. As in his much-slated, but pleasantly ludicrous, Costa del Crime romp, The Business, Nick goes all 80s on us, so we have background gags about exercise videos, while everyone is break-dancing when they're not cracking heads or getting handy with a Stanley knife. The sound-track kicks off, incongruously, with Soft Cell's Tainted Love, with plenty of Kool and the Gang to follow and (apologies to Paul Weller) Town Called Malice. Bring on the urban grit. In fairness to Nick Love, the Firm is a loving tribute to THE FIRM, from 20 years earlier. Directed by Alan Clarke, this was greeted at the time as the starkest and shrewdest cinematic take on football violence to date. Gary Oldman snarled and sizzled memorably as estate agent Bex. In truth, the original was an often dreary account of train excursions, stabbings and estate agent banter. Love brings very little that's new. Paul Anderson, seen more recently as dodgy avenger Piggy, dances liker a gangly pillock, but his Bex is not to be underestimated, part older brother, part borderline psycho. Everyone wants to be Bex's mate, but few come close. But fresh-faced Dom, played by Calum MacNab, somehow cuts it. Dom copes with the peer pressure, gets the right gear (trainers costs a fortune) uses the right slang and is invited to poorly planned 'meets' with rival firms. What a baptism. Dad, played by Eddie Webber, who lost his head to the Colombians in The Business, thinks Bex is a bad influence. Too right. Dom should have stuck with ginger Terry, who wants his old mate back. Don't ask for the quote about the tampon. Bex lets it all get too personal with gang rival Yeti, a shadow of the Phil Davis version from way back. You know the rest. Go watch Awaydays instead, or even the Factory.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah P. on 26 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A good re-make from a different preception of the original film.
A good watch but not as good as the original film.
despatched quickly thanks
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The original (tv) drama from the 80's had one great thing as a selling point: Gary Oldman. He was electric as Bex. Charasmatic but as mad as a bag of snakes; a likeable sociopath that sort if became the template for much of Oldmans's later work. Here though, Bex is played as a vicious bully with no redeeming qualities. A mindless thug followed by equally mindless thugs. But I guess that might be closer to reality, but it makes it quite hard to sell the story when the hooligans messiah is a total loser from the get go. But I'm not knocking the actors. They play the parts of terrace tossers well enough, but aside from dressed in silly 80's sportswear, so the real 'fun' surely would be in the violent rucks which is really anyone interested in casual sub-culture ( or hooli films) would give a toss about anyway. This is where the film is a huge let down. The fights are incredibly boring. You never really get 'caught up' in the action because Nick Love has left his gloves on for this one. A shame really because this could have been the best hooli film yet, instead it pales in comparison to the original on just about every level.
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Format: DVD
Nick Love's The Firm certainly has a love for the 80s, but the film doesn't quite pull it off. We are never emotionally attached to the actors, and by the end you don't care who gets hurt when the fighting breaks out. This is partially due to the poor script but also because the film focuses only on two main characters- Bek, the head of the firm and Dom a naive shy kid who wants a bit of excitement but bites off more than he can chew.

The realism of the hooligans which dogged English football in the 80s is pretty much spot on and there are as you would expect in a Nick Love film some hilarious scenes. But dare I suggest there could have been more impact violence? Not violence for violence sakes, but for an emotional response, from us the viewer. Without it, we are left with an empty yet fairly enjoyable 90 minutes.

Try and find the original TV movie that this film was based from, it has A list actors and is much better.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By DavyA TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A pretty enjoyable remake of the 80s TV film. This version differs from the original in a number of ways but still retains many of the most memorable scenes.Where as the original placed almost all the emphasis on Bex (the top boy in "The Firm") and his rivalry with Yeti (his nemesis and leader of a rival firm), in this version,although the rivalry between Bex and Yeti is still there, there is more emphasis placed on the rites of passage into the firm of Dom, a young lad from a down at heel estate.
As Bex becomes more obsessed (and unhinged) with his need to fulfill what he sees as his destiny as top boy in a combined English firm,to follow the England national team into Europe, realisation dawns on Dom that the buzz and the clobber cannot compensate for feeling bullied, afraid and to some extent, betrayed.
The original suffers in comparison when you look at the attention to detail in this newer version. The clothes in particular in this version are a very accurate refelection of what was predominant at the time on the terraces -some of the Fila,Tacchini and Diadora etc, gear worn in the film still can't be beaten when it comes to football fashion.
In some ways (although obviously impossible) it's a shame that we could not have a hybrid of the old and the new version. Gary Oldman was excellent as Bex in the original for example but as already touched on, the clothes worn in the original, were rubbish (the new version took advice from a specialist 80s casual clothing website for authenticity).
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