This award-winning 1996 film - which marked the directorial debut of writer/director Mark Herman - tells the moving story of a small mining community struggling to survive when its chief industry is closed down.
In Yorkshire in 1992, a wave of pit closures leaves the fate of a small mining community hanging in the balance. Brassed Off follows the fortunes of a colliery brass band as its members struggle for both musical and personal survival.
Grimley Colliery Band is a bastion of the local community and one that its leader cares passionately about. For Danny (Pete Postlethwaite) it is the music that embodies the spirit of the community, representing the very lifeblood of its people. However, as the spectre of unemployment looms large on the horizon, not all the band members can share his passion. Attitudes soon change with the entrance of Gloria (Tara Fitzgerald).
Granddaughter of a former band leader and childhood sweetheart of band member Andy (Ewan McGregor, pictured), she has returned to her hometown. Impressed by her talent and overwhelmed by her beauty, a new wave of enthusiasm sweeps through the band as they embark on the competition circuit. However, admiration is soon dulled and her relationship with Andy threatened by the stunning revelation that she is an employee of the British Coal Board.
Despite the surfacing conflicts, the Grimley Brass Band return triumphant from the national semi-finals. Their euphoria is short-lived as they return to find their worst fears realised. The pit has been closed and the defeated community recoils in shock. Phil (Stephen Tompkinson), Danny's son, has now lost everything - his family, his home, his job and almost the will to live...
Writer and director Mark Herman had always wanted to write a story based on the plight of the coal industry, but it wasn't until he read a newspaper article about a Northern pit village whose celebrated brass band were in danger of having to disband through lack of money that he found the hook he was searching for. Having worked previously with fellow Yorkshireman Steve Abbott on Blame It on the Bellboy, he approached him with the script of Brassed Off and Steve agreed to produce the film.
The film won the Cesar - the French equivalent of an Oscar - for best foreign film, as well as the Evening Standard/Peter Sellers Award for Comedy for Herman and three British Academy Award nominations.