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the-full-monty

THE FULL MONTY (1997)

Set in Sheffield, England; the "City of Steel," when two recently unemployed friends discover the glitsy life of male entertainment, they decide that perhaps, they're in the wrong industry after all. Though they don't exactly have the physique, or the dancing skills for that matter, the friends go about hiring four more "viable" candidates for their Chippendale-inspired act. Hoping to "up the ante" on the act, however, the men promise a show not to be missed, which includes the highly anticpated "full monty," leaving audiences wondering: what exactly is a "full monty" and can these six, inept British boys really pull "it" off on the night of their big debut?

Directed by Peter Cattaneo.

The cast includes: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Lesley Sharp, Emily Woof, Steve Huison, Paul Barber, Hugo Speer, Deirdre Costello, Bruce Jones, and William Snape.

Nominated for four Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Musical Comedy Score).

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Promotional Line: "Six men. With nothing to lose. Who dare to go...."

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Director Peter Cattaneo's THE FULL MONTY is a fun, feel good, comedy. The basic story involves a group of unemployed steelworkers in a runtown town in England, desperate for money who become inspired to make some quick money, after watching normally civilized women, go bonkers over a touring troupe of Chippendale dancers. They dream up an outrageous scheme, and start their unlikely idea in motion, undaunted by obstacles that happen along the way. Against all odds, they prepare a male strip act for a local club.

This "good-humored, jovial and cheerful" comedic screenplay was written by the talented British writer, Simon Beaufoy.

My favorite scene takes place late in the film, when the six wanna-be male strippers finally perform at a club in front of a live (mostly female) paying audience. The scene, while not very long, is fun, well choreographed, and well worth waiting for.

The term, The Full Monty, means full nudity. While THE FULL MONTY DOESN'T deliver full, frontal male nudity, it does feature the male dancers bare butts, so I guess the film should have been titled, "The Half Monty."

However, what was revealed in the strip routine was considered plenty by the actors participating. In filming the real performance of the actors stripping, with no "stunt doubles" to step in at the crucial moment, and in front of a live audience of rowdy extras, the director promised the actors that this "undressing in front of screaming women" would be a one shot deal; no second takes. Despite funny feelings of having their personal modesty thrown out the window, for the enjoyment of a wild audience, they didn't break character, and performed like the professional actors they were.

"The Full Monty" has some excellent songs on the soundtrack. Featured artists include Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate, Gary Glitter, Sister Sledge, and Tom Jones, who sings a new version of Randy Newman's hit, "You Can Leave Your Hat On," which is the song used in the final performance at the strip club. The film's Music Score was composed, orchestrated, and conducted by Anne Dudley. The film won the Oscar for Best Original Comedy Musical Score.

Rated: R - Definitely, a comedy for adults.

If you enjoyed THE FULL MONTY you may like THE COMMITMENTS, WAKING NED DEVINE, WORKING GIRL, BILLY ELLIOT, and FLASHDANCE.

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