Monday, June 12, 2017

Rugby Movies

The Internet is a wonderful thing. With just a few clicks of the mouse, from home, you can now access all sorts of information. While still more useful for pop culture types of information rather than information in detail - you must still rely on a library for that - the technology has revolutionized the way we gain facts and knowledge.

The Internet Movie Database is a resource I find myself using all the time, and one uneventful afternoon, while wondering what else I could add to this web site, it occurred to me that I didn't know what, if any, movies on the subject of rugby were available. Sure, the silver screen is lousy with films about basketball, baseball and football, but where are the rugby films? A quick search on the IMDB listed these, a few of which have I seen. You can go to the IMDB entry by clicking on the movie title.

Forever Strong - Starring Gary Cole and Sean Astin; set at Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. Larry Gelwix, whom I once interviewed, is portrayed in this. I believe this is the first movie by Americans about American rugby. Anyway, thanks to Bob, my Old Boy friend with a DVD, I finally saw it. It was excellent. Oh, it had a lot of the usual sports film tropes, but at least this time it was about rugby, which was novel. A nit: At one point, just before the match, the coach puts a kid who usually plays winger into the hooker position. No responsible high school rugby coach would do this. Front row positions require training and practice, and hooker, as it happens, is the position where one is most likely to receive a grievous spine injury. (At least in the U.S.) As one hooker friend described it to me, "the scrum position feels a lot like being crucified." The coach who is highlighted in this production, Larry Gelwix, wouldn't do that. Another nit: At one point Highland High is shown playing during a thunder and lightning storm. Any USA Rugby certified referee would end the match. But this is still a wonderful film - it doesn't overstay its welcome, moves right along, has a compelling plot and cast and, best of all, promotes rugby. Well done.

Go Dragons! - A Rugby Story - A 45 minute documentary about a gay men's rugby club in Chicago. I liked it because the situations are recognizable to just about any men's rugby club, gay or straight, and it's well-directed.

Borstal Boy - A movie about the Irish writer Brendan Behan as a sixteen year-old, when he served time in a British juvenile detention center (a borstal) for attempting to smuggle explosives. There's a scene where the "Army XV" plays the teenage prisoners. It's fairly well photographed and paced, but it doesn't last for long.

Warbrick - From an Internet correspondent: "There is a new NZ short film called "Warbrick" that is based on the 1888/1889 NZ Natives rugby team. They went on a tour of 107 matches and were the first to wear the black jersey and silver fern. They were also the first team to perform the haka. The short film touches on the origins of these things which was the NZ Natives although not many people know about their story. There is a trailer on youtube - type in Warbrick and you will see a short trailer." I added the link above - the film is 12 minutes long.

Alive (1993): Of course. Probably the rugby-related movie everyone thinks about. So well-covered I've given it its own section on this site! Nando Parrado, a member of the original Uruguayan team, stated in an interview, "If we had been soccer players, we would have died." Later in the interview, this, "...he (Parrado) and the other surviving rugby players have nothing but praise for Marshall's movie: 'He went to the mountain with us, he lived with us, and he treated the story very, very accurately. We wouldn't change a thing.'" I've seen it; it's a good film. I found the crash landing sequence to be much more unsettling than the brief scenes of people eating human meat. (I'm sure I'll think of this film whenever I board a plane.) One wouldn't assume a film that has cannibalism as one of its themes would be something Disney (Touchstone) would do, but there it is...

Alive II - Twenty Years Later (1993): This is a "the making of" documentary based on the film reviewed above. You get to meet Nando Parrado and company, and see them playing some Old Boys rugby (which is always a frightening thing). Good viewing for rugby completists, like me. It's nice to see that the survivors pretty much all carried on with life and still associate with one another.

Evelyn (2002): There's a rugby match going on behind some of the dialogue at one point, and some characters refer to the match. That's all!

If.... (1968): Some shots of a schoolboy rugby match and an otherwise proper and soft-spoken lady screaming for blood. (Rugby does that to people.)

The Four Feathers (2002): There's a rugby match at the beginning of the movie, shown when the titles are run. Click here for a photo. There's also a shorter sequence showing some rugby being played in the Sudan. According to the director's commentary, this was included to show that in society, British young men were being groomed for war and violence ("Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton." - Wellington) and onlookers were expected to watch it unemotionally. It's also supposed to show the the relationship of the men later on; who's the leader, etc. The action is pretty good, with numerous cheap shots taking place, but, as usual in what's really not a rugby movie, the sequence is brief. I did enjoy the film!

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004): I'm told at the beginning of this film there's a short sequence showing Che Guavara playing rugby.

The Final Winter (2007): Andrew Dahl writes: "it's rugby league - other than that it's not that bad - about a player at the end of his career and not willing to let it go."

The Omen (1976): There's one shot where Gregory Peck is watching a rugby match in England; it lasts less than a minute, and is suspiciously fast-moving. (They all seem to be way too energetic for the 80th minute.) A play is made off a break from a scrum - somebody yells "Keep that scrum tight!" so that American audiences will know it's rugby - a guy scores a try, the ref blows the whistle and the match ends. On the way to the beer, one of the players looks back, says, "Good game," and gets his face in the shot. ("Look, Mum, I'm in a movie with Gregory Peck!") Just then, Doctor Who (Patrick Troughton), walks onto the pitch, gets his picture taken, and is later impaled by a falling lightning rod. Lots of snarling black dogs. The incidental music sounds like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing in Latin. A pretty lame film, all in all.

New Zealand vs. England 1905 (1905): From a New Zealand film archive site: "Filmmaker unknown, NZFA Stills Collection. This image is from footage of the test match between New Zealand and England at Crystal Palace, London, on 2 December, 1905. This was New Zealand’s first tour as a national representative side. At half time, the score was New Zealand 9, England 0 and at full-time the score was New Zealand 15, England 0. Only three and a half minutes long, this film is believed to be the earliest surviving footage of a rugby test match."

From Internet correspondent Bryce Krug of the St. Louis Hornets RFC: Chariots of Fire "While not a rugby movie, per se, Chariots of Fire has a main character named Eric Liddell (played by Ian Charleson), who is a rugby player. He's the Scottish missionary that won't run on Sundays but who won the Olympic 400 in Paris, 1924. In the movie he's described as being a rugby player and specifically as Scotland's best winger. It's even cooler that it's based on a true story. The Encyclopaedia Brittanica also mentions he was a rugger, and, apparently, he died in China during WWII in a Japanese POW camp."

Le Placard (2001): An account from Planet Rugby's "Fact of the Day": Did you know that French film star Gerard Depardieu is currently starring as a homophobic rugby coach in a new film called 'The Closet' (Le Placard)? The film - a huge box office hit in France - is a farce about a character called Francois Pignon, a rugby-playing accountant at a condom factory who, when he learns that he is about to lose his job, pretends to be gay in order that his employers, fearing a potential lawsuit, keep him on. But it is Depardieu, as Santini, the coach of Pignon's rugby team, who has garnered many rave reviews for his over-the-top performance. At one point in the film, Depardieu watches his team go through its scrum drills whilst holding forth about how hard it is for France to defeat "les Springboks" and "les All Blacks". I have seen this film, and it is hilarious. It isn't really a rugby film, but it's a film depicting some rugby players. (Some scrum sled work is shown.) One of them, the head coach of the company's rugby club - portrayed by Gerard Depardieu - has the best line. A normally aggressive heterosexual who has a nervous breakdown when his attempts to become friends with the false homosexual are rebuffed, is admitted to a rest home, where he says "I started a team here but the depressives are too weepy. Crying in a scrum, you can't see the ball."

This film features two fellows who are actual French props. My clubmate Frederic Bardot explains: "The shorter guy, Vincent Moscato, used to play for Bordeaux (with the current french coach, Bernard Laporte, as scrum half). They won one championship. He was capped four times for France. They were famous because the forwards had a strategy called the "tortoise," where they would a series of rolling mauls and the ball would be protected like soldiers behind shields. He is now retired and is trying his hand as an actor. He is also in the movie out on DVD called "Druids": Vercingétorix vs the Romans... Don't bother renting it. The other guy used to play a while ago but I do not remember his club."

Tom Brown's Schooldays (1950): This one is notable because it was filmed on the grounds of Rugby School, on the Close where the game (called "punt-about" in this film) is said to have been created. Schoolboy East assures Tom, "This is the only place where football is played properly." The scenes with the schoolboys playing rugby is pretty good: it looks more like a riot than a game, with the sides numbering up to perhaps a hundred. (Big scrums!) I didn't see anyone running with ball in hand - which is curious, since William Webb Ellis is said to have created the game in 1823, and this story takes place in 1834. Anyway, it looks like the main defensive scheme is for a boy to grab the (circular) ball and to lie on it, killing it. At the end of the movie, "Big Brooke," the captain (wearing a schoolboy skull and crossbones) makes his conversion kick and everyone cheers, Tom dashes off down the Close - fade to black, run end titles. By the way, there's an anachronism with boys in this film using the term "punt." My dictionary says that the word, meaning to kick a football, didn't come about until about 1845.

The Blood of Heroes (1988): Not really a rugby film in that post Max Mad apocalypse Rutger Hauer and friends play "jugger." (Get it? Not rugger, jugger.) One fellow wrote an intriguing synopsis: "Juggers play a sport which is kind of like american football played on a tiny field (maybe 20 yards) except instead of getting a ball in the endzone, you have to get a dog's skull jammed onto a stake. Oh, and everyone except the Skull Carrier (or Qwik) has big mean looking mallets and poles to smack everyone around with." Okay, so it's spiritually a rugby film.

This Sporting Life (1963): Starring Richard Harris, who played King Arthur in Camelot and had a 1968 hit with "McArthur's Park" (you know, the song about the hazards of leaving cake out in the rain). The plot is as follows: "In Northern England in the early 1960s, Frank Machin is mean, tough and ambitious enough to become an immediate star in the rugby league team run by local employer Weaver. Machin lodges with Mrs Hammond, whose husband was killed in an accident at Weaver's, but his impulsive and angry nature stop him from being able to reach her as he would like. He becomes increasingly frustrated with his situation, and this is not helped by the more straightforward enticements of Mrs Weaver." [Some additional trivia from Richard Lowther of Wakefield RFC: "This movie was filmed in Wakefield at the rugby league ground of Wakefield Trinity, now known as the home of the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. The trouble with being a Wakefield RFC (rugby union) supporter is that most people have only heard of the rugby league club and therefore think that we support them. This is sacrilegious."]

This film is difficult to watch. It's bleak, and Harris portrays a violent, inarticulate brute. There are a lot of scenes of Harris slugging rugby players, Mrs. Hammond, doors, tables, walls, etc. Come to think of it, I know a couple of ruggers who are something like this character... perhaps you do, too. The rugby footage is great, but there's only about fifteen minutes of it out of the 130 minutes or so of the film. It's not really a film about rugby - it's a film about pain, both emotional and physical. (Machin has six teeth knocked out of his mouth in the first few minutes of the film - if you fear dentistry you might fidget a little.) For some reason I found the scene where Harris makes an ass out of himself at the posh restaurant especially hard to watch. I must be well-trained by my wife, I guess.

Old Scores (1991): A rugby comedy from New Zealand. The following is a summary by James Dignan of Dunedin, NZ: "The movie is a comedy drama. On his deathbed, a Welsh touch judge admits he cheated by allowing an illegal Welsh try to stand in a game against the All Blacks in 1966, allowing Wales to win the match. The NZ and Welsh RFU agree that the only way the incident can be laid to rest is to replay the game in 1991 with the same teams as played in 1966. The film follows the preparations of the two teams of aging players as they prepare to do battle. Probably the only actor known outside NZ in the movie is Windsor Davies (from such British TV series as "It ain't half hot mum"). The cast includes several real former All Black and Welsh internationals, such as Alex Wylie, Phil Bennett, and Waka Nathan." Looks promising to me! (And thanks, James!)

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983): I'm told that in a scene at the school where John Cleese teaches, a match is held between staff and students that doesn't come out very well for the boys.

Asini (1999): An Italian comedy. I can't read Italian, but looking at the plot description someone wrote, it takes place in Milan, there's a "Fanatico del rugby" and something about a dog-sitter. But! Internet correspondant Antonio Allegra writes: "Italo is a 40 year-old from Milan, not very willing to grow up; he still lives with his mother and aunt. He is a rugby fanatic and lives for his passion. Now he is forced to give up by his coach, and therefore forced to accept a post as gymnastics teacher in a countryside school. He finds himself in an out-of-time Franciscan community, where boys that don't like to study are raised. (The students are the Asini - which, in Italian, is slang for "donkeys.") By the film's conclusion he will find success in his new job, thanks to rugby. There is a strange character in the film, very hostile to Franciscans and Italo, but then Italo discovers he is also a rugby player - so predictably they become friends). At end Italo has a job, a love (with a woman, not a Franciscan or a rugby player or a donkey...), and he matures. This is my plot, obtained from the incomplete sketch on IMDB and above all from what I remember: yes, I have seen the comedy and it's not bad. Quite fun. Not really a movie on rugby, but rugby is important for the main character and has a role in the plot."

Exiles (1999): Described as a Canadian "rock and roll rugby road trip comedy." I have no doubt some of you have been on one of these. The names of one of the characters is "Pee-On," another, "Ken Doll." 

Up 'n' Under (1998): A British comedy, with a plot synopsis as follows: "The Cobblers Arms have been the best and most feared Amateur Rugby League team for the past ten years. Ex-pro Arthur bets their boss that he could train a bunch of deadbeats to defeat them in a local rugby sevens tournament. But to do so he must first get them into shape with the help of the very attractive Hazel Scott." One reviewer wrote that this was "The blokes' version of The Full Monty," so it sounds promising. ["I found 'Up and Under' very funny... appreciating the rugby humour far more than my friend who finds sport totally unwatchable and spent all the time totally bored. As a former player (and soccer manager) I thought the training and organising scenes were riotous... been there done that! There are some nice one-liners in there... non of which I can now remember, but if you haven't seen it I recommend it." - Richard Lowther]

William Webb Ellis Are You Mad? (1971): This is a 27 minute documentary starring Arthur Lowe, who played the priest in Bless Me, Father. Other than that, I know nothing of it.

Dalziel and Pascoe: A Clubbable Woman (1996): This one sounds like it might be about spouse abuse, but it isn't. Here's the plot: "Two unorthodox police officers are called to investigate dodgy dealings at Wetherton rugby club after the body of their star player's wife is found dead at home." Wait a minute, maybe it is about spouse abuse! ["'Dalziel and Pascoe: A Clubbable Woman' is part of a BBC detective series. Dalziel is pronounced "Dee Hell," not as it's spelt. Dalziel is a gruff Yorkshireman (aren't we all?) and a policeman whilst Pascoe is the university-educated assistant who despairs of his boss in every imaginable way. The series is very enjoyable... this particular episode really revolved around the social/political running of a rugby club rather the playing side, and from memory (although it has been a long time since I saw it), you don't actually get to see any rugby footage." - Richard Lowther]

Ymadawiad Arthur (1994): This one's a sci-fi comedy with a rather odd plot: "In the year 2096, Welshmen lay a plan to kidnap national hero King Arthur from the medieval era, and bring him to the present. By mistake, however, they kidnap rugby hero Dai Arthur (nicknamed "King Arthur") from the 1960s instead." Apparently this one's in Welsh! (I couldn't begin to pronounce the title.)
Good try, though, but I think the Welsh are having more success with New Zealander Graham Henry than they would with the Once and Future King...

Puddle Cruiser (1996): "A student falls in love with a fellow student who defends him in university court. He proves his love to her by playing rugby with her ex-boyfriend." What? One on one?

Number 10 (2006): A South African production; that's all I know. The IMDB entry is not promising...

Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale (1986): Here's the plot: "Featuring the characters from Murray Ball's "Footrot Flats", (New Zealand's most beloved local cartoon strip). Questions to be answered include: Will Wal Footrot win the affections of Cheeky Hobson over the sleazy Spic Murphy? Will the Dog win the affections of the lovely Jess? Will Wal make a good impression on the All Black selectors at Saturday's rugby match? Can Rangi and Pongo save Wal's prize stag from the depths of Blackwater station, home of the Murphy's, their vicious dogs and deadly croco-pigs? All this and more will be answered as the small town of Raupo comes to life on the big screen."

Deadly "croco-pigs?"

The Departed (2006): I'm told that there's a pretty good rugby scene with Matt Damon as a flanker, who uses good verbal sparring skills that all forwards possess as he questions the sexuality of the NYFD.

I Could Go On Singing (1963): Judy Garland's last film. In it her son is shown playing some muddy U-14 schoolboy rugby. The sequence only lasts five minutes or so.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939): Once again, a brief scene of some schoolboys playing rugby is all that's in here, but this movie is valuable to see because it describes the English school environment in which rugby developed. (Besides being an excellent and worthwhile film, generally.) What I appreciated most were the memorial scenes about the grown schoolboys who became casualties in World War I - a fate shared by many a promising British rugby player. (There is more about this in my review of the book "Rugger, My Pleasure.") While the story of rugby is about athleticism, victory on the pitch, teamwork, colorful personalities, camaderie and social drinking, there is a strong element of sadness, as well.

The Commitments (1991) - Okay, I admit: there isn't a rugby ball or a rugby player in it, but it's still a rugby film. See it and see if you don't agree. (That drummer reminds me of ruggers I know.)

Internet correspondent Felipe adds:

Cry Freedom (1987) - Denzel Washington plays an anti-apartheid activist and has a small scene playing rugby in a township, as 8 man of course!

A Dry White Season (1989) - Donald Sutherland plays a retired Springbok (fly-half, no less) who is a school teacher that discovers the horrors of apartheid. Not much rugby in this one, a small season with Donald Sutherland's son playing school boy rugby.

John Bell writes: "I rented "The Deep" this week, and apart from the requisite Jaqueline Bisset wet t-shirt scenes, Nick Nolte appears in a stylish late 70s rugby shirt with a number 4 on the back, in a cool 'spade' shape (like the Gentlemen of Aspen, I believe)."

Guest film critic John "Montana" Thomas, the owner/operator of PropTalk, has contributed the following (my comments in brackets):

Tommy Boy (1995) - Beginning while at college, he is wearing a rugby jacket. [This film stars Chris Farley and David Spade. Chris Farley did in fact play rugby for Marquette. Check out my famous ruggers page for details.]

The Man Without a Face (1993) - When the boy leaves burnt face Mel Gibson and goes off to private school...he plays rugby.

Guest film critic Pete Murray has this:

Circle of Friends (1995) - From a Maeve Binchy book about three female Irish university students who were reunited at university in the 1950s. The story line follows a girl (Minnie Driver, who had to gain 30 or so pounds for the role) who lives in a village and commutes to university (in Dublin) via public transportation, and her trials and tribulations of dating the captain and fly half (Chris O'Donnell) of the rugby club. There are two scenes involving rugby, the first (which I missed because I was buying popcorn and soda) was about a 30 second bit of action and the second was of a social held by the club where in many pints of Guinness are consumed and rugby songs are sung.

Pacific Heights (1990) - There is a quick scene where Matthew Modine runs up the stairs in the pouring rain to greet a couple who is looking at his apartment. He is in his kit and carrying his boots. I believe he is wearing a number 12 jersey which would indicate him being an inside center. Poor choice, I would have him in a number 10.

Also, The Molly Maguires (1970) - An excellent film about the group of the same name in Northeast Pennsylvania. Although the storyline follows Richard Harris in his role as a Pinkerton (successfully) attempting to infiltrate the Maguires who were headed up by "Black Jack" Kehoe (played by Sean Connery.) Harris is torn between what he comes to believe as a righteous cause and his job. But getting to the point (rugby) there is a scene where the guys from the coal mine in the town play the next town/coal mine/company over in a hybrid game of rugby union, Gaelic football, and gridiron. There are some awesome shots of a scrum down where Connery is working his counterpart over with a little bit of the business. At the end of the match there is an obligatory drink-up. [Based upon Pete's recommendation - and the fact that I like Sean Connery - I rented this film. It may be worth noting that it takes place in 1876, and the football game the miners play is with a round ball. But it's passed by hand like rugby, and there's a shot of what looks like a hooker kicking the ball backwards out of the scrum. The "business" Pete refers to is punching with the fist. During the match a Welsh policeman looks on disapprovingly. That doesn't seem right, does it? - Wes]

The Sum of Us (1994) - The movie is about a gay rugby (league) player, Russell Crowe, who is looking for Mister Right. The movie opens with a scene from a training session - rugby training that is. I can't tell you how the movie develops because I am not into love stories, especially ones that don't include the fairer sex.

The Departed (2006) - SPOILER ALERT! Matt Damon plays a crooked state trooper that is linked up with the Irish mob in South Boston. The rugby scene happens in the first 15 minutes or so and it pits the police against the firemen. Probably 10 seconds or so of rugby action in this film. I take it the firemen win because Damon's character flips them the bird and makes a comment referring to the firemen's success with women in recent years. I suppose there is no drink up because Damon and one of his mates are seen next drinking cans of beer in front of the state house.

Tom Hamill adds:

Trouble Along the Way (1953): Starring John Wayne and Donna Reed. The Duke, as a disgraced football coach, is given a chance to revive his career at a small, metro-New York college. At one point he gives a dissertation on the history of Gridiron, starting with William Webb Ellis.
Murderball (2005): A film about quadriplegics who play full-contact rugby in Mad Max-style wheelchairs - overcoming unimaginable obstacles to compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. Best Documentary of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival

Another guest film critic, this time Paul Bothwell, from Wales, has this:

A Run for Your Money (1949) - Twm and Dai Jones, two Welsh coal-mining brothers from South Wales, win a coal-cutting competition and take a trip to London to see the England-Wales Rugby match, They are supposed to meet a newspaper reporter, Mr. Whimple of the Weekly Echo, played by Alec Guiness, who will be their escort but end up missing connections with their reception committee. In the big city, innocent Dai soon finds himself accompanied by Jo, an attractive con-woman; while Twm meets a Welsh harpist who leads him through many pubs, and Mr. Whimple is led a merry chase, what a job it turns out to be! [According to the Britmovie review, this is one of those Ealing comedies: "The theme was that of innocents abroad, the victims of female confidence tricksters and sponging drunks, with occasional bouts of Welsh male voice singing." - Wes]

Grand Slam (1976) - It's about some Welsh rugby fans (is this redundant?) in France on the occasion of a France vs. Wales game. The main ingredients of this one are drunkenness, sex, a brothel brawl, incarceration, dialects that are occasionally difficult for Yanks to understand, lots of smoking and Hugh Griffith's enormous eyebrows.

Some comments from Internet correspondent Colin Ip:

School Wars: Hero - "I have just seen an excellent movie about rugby, in the same manner as "Remember The Titans" was about high school footie, i.e. based on true events, based on college sports, based on troubles at school, except, the film is set in Japan. The film is called "School Wars: Hero" and is set in 1974 about a retired all-Japan international player who starts his second career as a PE teacher at a Japanese college. The college is overrun by bullies and thugs who terrorise teachers and smaller kids, as well as influence who can play rugby etc. The teacher uses his skills as a rugby player to bring order and respect to the school and to mould a winning rugby team from the school gangs. There are some clichés, the rugby scenes are excellent and is not, shall we say, played to 1974 rules, but given a more modern context, the thumping tackles, great moves and the modern offside rules being played. You do get a lot of free flowing rugby action from kids who obviously have played for some time. His coaching methods are extreme (perhaps not to the Japanese, though!) but the film is very good and surprisingly moving in some parts as he nearly gives up, perseveres on and, in one instance, convinces a local school thug to change his ways by playing rugby. The ending is poignant and the fun is watching kids do a Japanese Haka." From the website: "A physical education teacher assumes his new post at Fushimi first industrial high school in 1974 Kyoto. Devastated by campus violence, most of the teachers interact as little as possible with the students, but the new guy believes he can constructively channel the teens' anger by forming a rugby team. Despite internal conflicts and setbacks, the team begins to bond, forming a type of family relationship most of them have never known and a national championship may be within their grasp. Directed by Ikuo Sekimoto with a cast that includes Shouei, Emi Wakui, Koutaro Satomi, and singer/actress SAYAKA (of Dragon Head fame), this film is based on real events."

Also from Colin,
Twin Town - "There is another film with rugby as one of the core themes, "Twin Town," with Llyr Ifans and his brother Rhys Ifans (who also starred in "Notting Hill" as Hugh Grant’s eccentric flatmate and other films such as "Once Upon A Time In The Midlands" with Robert Carlyle and "51st State" with Samuel Jackson). The tag line is: Rugby. Tom Jones. Male Voice Choirs. Shirley Bassey. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantisiliogogogch. Snowdonia. Prince of Wales. Anthony Hopkins. Daffodils. Sheep. Sheep Lovers. Coal. Slate Quarries. The Blaenau Ffestiniog Dinkey-Doo Miniature Railway. Now If That's Your Idea Of Thousands Of Years Of Welsh Culture, You Can't Blame Us For Trying To Liven The Place Up A Little Can You? The film centres around the Lewis Twins (the Ifans brothers) who spend their time stealing cars, joy riding, sniffing glue, smoking a bong in a bath, naked(!) and terrorizing the cops in Swansea. Their father, Fatty Lewis, breaks his leg working for a local bigwig property developer Bryn Cartwright, who also runs the local rugby club and regularly enthuses about the golden days of Welsh rugby. Cartwright refuses to pay compensation which results in utter mayhem from the twins, with some classic scenes at the rugby club and during training! Worse than an All Blacks mauling!"

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