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A Very British Coup
A Very British Coup
Actors: Ray McAnally, Marjorie Yates, Geoffrey Beevers, Hugh Martin, Keith Allen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
NR     2003     2hr 33min

A VERY BRITISH COUP — The taut, powerful, all-too-plausible story about a democracy attacked from within When plain-spoken, charismatic former steelworker Harry Perkins becomes prime minister in a landslide Labour Party vic...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ray McAnally, Marjorie Yates, Geoffrey Beevers, Hugh Martin, Keith Allen
Creator: Peter Ansorge
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 08/12/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1988
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1988
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 33min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Self-indulgent lefty excrement
GUEST ACCOUNT | HQ | 07/19/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This is propaganda without a shade of subtlety or nuance; I understand leftist Brits go in for this sort of thing. Story's Harry Perkins is a paragon throughout, and don't you know good intentions beat back all troubles. His enemies do not possess a shred of decency of course, just like in the real world where everyone who opposes unions is a big poopy head. For people who prefer cartoons to reality only."
Frighteningly up to date
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 06/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Picture if you will a Prime Minister of England who really wants to benefit the majority of the people and not only the "fat cats" who have run the country all through its past. Picture how his foes--not only the powerful but those of the middle class in the pockets of the powerful--would stop at nothing to topple him, not even short of murder. Picture also how a certain even more powerful nation would aid and abet in his downfall since while all the rest talk disarmament he actually begins to disarm! If you have trouble picturing all this, then you must watch the Acorn Media release of the first Masterpiece Theatre presentation that did not take place in the British past or present but in the very near future. It is called "A Very British Coup" (AMP-8617) and stars Ray McAnally as Prime Minister Harry Perkins who knows too well what it is like to be poor and oppressed and he is pitted against Sir Percy Browne (Alan MacNaughtan), who is both the head of MI5 and an upper-class militant determined not to enfranchise anyone below him. He feels he owes it to his ancestors; Perkins feels the same about his own. Add to those two a list of the most frightening behind-the-scenes characters who, although never elected, actually run the government--the press barons, the BBC, the union leaders, even the local constabulary--and you can see how important, let alone how pertinent, this story is to our present situation. There is an audio interview with the author that might be of some value.Grab this one--and teachers of Political Science, take careful notice."
Dated Yet Timely
John D. Cofield | 09/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"On first sight A Very British Coup seems impossibly old fashioned, dealing as it does with a left wing British Prime Minister who believes in public ownership, non alignment, and a non-nuclear strategy. He borrows money from the Soviet Union and tells the United States to take its bases out of Britain. As a result right wing elements in Britain, with ample assistance from the US government, do all they can to sabotage his government and force him out of power. So why watch this now, more than ten years after the end of the Cold War, during a British Labour government that sometimes seems more Thatcherite than Maggie herself? Well, first its a dynamic political thriller with tension that lasts right up until the final, rather equivocal moments. Secondly, it asks some difficult questions about the nature of democracy and the relationship of power and privilege. Thirdly, I think for us American viewers it provides an eye-opening look at how the rest of the world sees us, and its not all that flattering. (Most of the American officials look like prize fighters and bully boys, which is what they turn out to be in the end. The Ugly American indeed!)The DVD version doesn't have many extra features, just some filmographies of the principal stars and an audio interview with the author, Chris Mullin M.P. This seems to have been originally broadcast on radio and is rather scratchy, but you can hear Big Ben in the distance, which is a nice touch. So I recommend this DVD for political junkies, Anglophiles,and any Americans concerned about our international reputation."
Possibly the best political intrigue video ever made.
John J. Bost | NYC, USA | 08/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw this video on public television about 10 years ago - I was amazed. I still find it exciting and flawless even though true socialistic ideology is outdated. I liked it so much that I actually paid [the money] for the 3 part video (two cassettes) when it was first released.
I've also read the book by Chris Mullin but found the video to be superior; Harry Perkins is a more witty and affable character.
A correction to the previous review by Mr. Daley: Ray McAnally WAS cast in at least two Hollywood movies; One of them being "My Left Foot" with Daniel Day Lewis. Ray McAnally was an excellent actor, just starting to reach a peak in his career. I was sorry to hear that he died."