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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Raining Stones [DVD]
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 July 2012
'Raining Stones' is yet another very good film from Ken Loach. It could be described as a gritty comedy. It stars Bruce Jones (Coronation Street's Les Battersby) who is on top form as Bob Williams, a father who needs the money to buy his little girl a wedding dress, shoes, veil and gloves for her first communion. There are many funny situations throughout the movie concerning Bob and how he tries to make up the cash. His best friend Tommy (played by Ricky Tomlinson) is also out of work and just as desperate for money. I laughed at one way that they managed to make a few quid, by stealing the turf from the local Conservative Party club grounds.

It isn't all laughs however, in desperation, Bob ends up borrowing money from the local loan sharks, and things begin to go downhill. There are some rather confrontational scenes towards the end, brilliantly directed by Ken Loach.

'Raining Stones' is a convincing and natural story, both touching and engaging. Bruce Jones was presented with the European Actors Award for his performance in this movie, an award that was fully deserved.
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on 13 June 2017
Good product and delivery ...
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on 15 May 2012
"Raining Stones" is a very thought-provoking film.
The characters are quite real, and the situations fell
into were realistic.
This film, short, is worth buying.
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on 24 June 2017
Great movie
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on 25 July 2017
Pure class.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 March 2012
Raining Stones was Ken Loach's 1993 follow-up to his 1991 film Riff-Raff, and portrays similar themes, exploring a working man's struggle to survive, both economically and morally, against a backdrop of economic recession and high unemployment - a challenge which is, of course, as relevant today in 2012 as it was in the early 1990s. For me, Raining Stones is the more successful of the two films in the way it treats its protagonist's story both with greater intimacy and intensity than the earlier film.

The other elements that are common to both Raining Stones and Riff-Raff are that both films feature an unusually high comic content (even for a Ken Loach film - which, of course, normally would include at least a handful of hilarious scenes) and, perhaps not coincidentally, both contain consummate performances from the great comic actor Ricky Tomlinson. As in Riff-Raff, Tomlinson plays a support role to Loach's central character, who, in Raining Stones, is played by Bruce Jones (Coronation Street's own Les Battersby). Bob (Jones) and Tommy (Tomlinson) are mates who, in a desperate attempt to provide for their families, will try their hand at any scam going, including 'sheep rustling' - their attempts at which are the focus of the film's hilarious opening sequence.

Loach's film compellingly depicts many of his trademark plot devices and themes, namely a central character whose world falls apart following a random fateful event, a family whose aspirations (in this case, the young daughter's desire for a successful first communion) are inextricably linked to the father's bad luck, and a set of unscrupulous authority figures (in this case, debt collectors) only too willing to exploit the situation. Once again, Loach has chosen a relatively unknown cast (Jones and Tomlinson aside) that deliver handsomely, providing deceptively naturalistic acting performances, at times with a near-documentary feel. Particular mention should be made of Jonathan James who plays the frighteningly convincing debt collector Tansey, and Tom Hickey who is superb in his playing of the refreshingly pragmatic priest Father Barry. Incidentally, Hickey played a similar role in Jim Sheridan's 1989 Oscar-winning film, My Left Foot.

As for the Riff-Raff soundtrack, Loach commissioned Police drummer Stewart Copeland, who provides an interesting, jazz-inflected score for this later film.

In conclusion then, Raining Stones is, for me, another great example of the way Loach is, in his own unique way, able to mix tragedy and humour to brilliant cinematic effect. I will always call to mind a number of hilarious scenes from the film, none more so than that where Ricky Tomlinson moons under the dazzling beam of a police helicopter's searchlight - magical.
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on 30 October 2000
Next to the magisterial 'Kes', 'Raining Stones' is the ideal introduction to the work of Ken Loach, being a perfect example of his distinctive blend of warm human comedy and rueful reflection on the state of the nation - in this case, exploring the devastating effects of unemployment on a working-class family living in an unnamed town in the north of England. They just about make ends meet, their dole income supplemented by the odd (and mostly disastrous) bit of entrepreneurship, but when Bob decides that his young daughter must have a new dress for her communion, this sets in motion a disastrous chain of events involving a gang of notoriously vicious loansharks. It's a quiet, understated and often unexpectedly powerful piece of work, with sterling performances by Bruce Jones and the ever-reliable Ricky Tomlinson, and it's admirably balanced politically; Labour's failings are blamed just as much as the Tory policies that led to their plight in the first place. The DVD is fairly bare-bones, but it's not the kind of film where you need more than a competent transfer, and you certainly get that here. Highly recommended for Loach beginners - existing fans will almost certainly have seen it anyway.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 March 2013
Raining Stones is directed by Ken Loach and written by Jim Allen. It stars Bruce Jones, Julie Brown, Ricky Tomlinson, Tom Hickey, Mike Fallon and Jonathan James. Music is by Stewart Copeland and cinematography by Barry Ackroyd.

Northern England and as unemployment bites hard, Bob (Jones) frets about finding the money for his daughter's communion dress...

It's classical Loach, an awareness of the lower to working class lifestyle during a politically turbulent time. As is the great director's want, realism leaps out from every frame, earthy humour is evident and Loach draws you into his kitchen sink world with ease. Raining Stones has no political agenda as such, it's primary focus is the people, specifically examining how a basically honest hard working man has pride in abundance but little brains in accompaniment. And we all know what pride comes before...

The structure is simple, an hour of film lets us know the principal players, their surroundings and their beliefs. Humour dominates the narrative at this point, be it nutty ideas like stealing a sheep off of the Moors to sell to the butcher - Bob's date with a sewer drain - and Tommy (Tomlinson) showing his ass and genitals to an overhead police helicopter! There are scenes and snatches of dialogue that genuinely bring the laughs. Yet lurking in the background is the palpable sense of things about to turn bad, which is the case of course, and the film shifts for its last third into dramatic thriller mode.

Religion is a feature, but again it's not something that Loach wants to use as a tool for head beating. In fact it's refreshing that the portrayal of Father Barry (Hickey excellent), who is the glue that binds his unemployed flock together, is not about pious pontificating, he's very aware of the times and happy to share a glass of whiskey with Bob and offer up some surprising advice. Cast performances are across the board great, something which is another trait of Loach's direction, while Ackroyd's photography around the Middleton, Rochdale locale is suitable stripped back to reveal a climate of struggle.

A must for anyone with a kink for Loach's type of story telling, Raining Stones is another fine entry on his considerable CV. 8/10
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on 13 February 2014
Its dated, has lost its power, seems stagey and bitty. when first broadcast was stupendous, but now seems very poor.
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on 8 November 2013
I had bought this film before as I am in it with a lot of local people I know (family) but due to moving it was lost so it was great to get it again at such a good price thanks
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