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My Beautiful Laundrette [DVD] (1985)

4.1 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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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.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: VCI
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sept. 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CXW1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,094 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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'.

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought a genuine sealed copy of this 1980s film at a great price. Had not seen the film since the 80s: then, I remembered the gay love story as the stand out feature. Now, I saw the nasty racist skinheads looking for someone to kick in; the conflicting allegiances between different generations of Pakistani family members; the love story between a white man who has dabbled with racist thug groups and his old school mate, Omar; the entrepreneurism of Thatcher's Britain as personified in Omar and his get-ahead relatives: depression, alcoholism, failure of promise in some immigrants who couldn't hack life in Britain; and urban blight in South London. This is not a film to everyone;s taste: there's a lot of violence, and some would be unhappy with the gay love scenes: but if you haven't seen it for almost thirty years, or never seen it but want to know about Thatcher's run-down London, I urge you to watch it (again).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is THE classic gay themed movie from which the standard of all modern gay themed movies are judged, well acted, good story, doesn't flinch from reality and deals with interracial relationships still a hot topic today, and I still think the Daniel Day - Lewis hairstyle is to die for thirty years later! always a pleasure to see Shirley Anne Field in any film, in all a great classic of it's genre. If gay theme films offend you steer clear, if you are liberal minded or gay, to young maybe to have seen it the first time round, watch it this film helped revolutionise the way gays are perceived in the media, it took alot of courage to make a movie like this 30 years ago.
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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Deals with the relationship between two men, one working class white British and the other the son of Pakistani emigrants, both ambitious and trying to make something of themselves. If you lived through the Thatcher period in London, you will be drawn to this film as it reflects those times. The acting is, of course, first class (interesting to see the young Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Anne Fields). The society at the time seemed to be more sexist than homophobic. One of the most disturbing element was the xenophobe, but I wonder how much has changed...
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