This Is England

Infobox Film
name = This Is England

caption = Theatrical Poster
director = Shane Meadows
producer = Mark Herbert
writer = Shane Meadows
narrator =
starring = Thomas Turgoose
Joseph Gilgun
Andrew Shim
Vicky McClure
Stephen Graham
Jo Hartley
Chanel Cresswell
Rosamund Hanson [ [,,2066120,00.html This Is England | Reviews | Guardian Unlimited Film ] ]
music = Ludovico Einaudi
cinematography = Gonzalo Fernández Berridi
editing = Chris Wyatt
distributor =
released = 27 April 2007
runtime = 100 minutes
country = United Kingdom
language = English
budget = £1.5 million (estimated)
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0480025

"This Is England" is a 2006 film written and directed by Shane Meadows, director of other films such as "Dead Man's Shoes" and "A Room for Romeo Brass", and starring Thomas Turgoose. The film is a drama centred on young skinheads, set in England in July 1983.


The film was shown at various international film festivals, including London, and special permission was granted to Meniscus for it to be shown at Grimsby's Whitgift Film Theatre. The film was given an 18 certificate by the BBFC due to its racist language and incidence of violence. However, some councils such as Bristol, Camden and Westminster have chosen to overturn this, feeling the film should more widely reach its target audience of teenagers.

Thomas Turgoose, who was 13 at the time of filming, took the leading role and has appeared on TV and radio shows such as "Soccer A.M.", "South Bank Show" and "GMTV", and has been interviewed by Edith Bowman on her BBC Radio One slot. [ [ BBC NEWS | England | Humber | Teenager Tommo lands gritty role ] ] Turgoose had never acted before, had been banned from his school play for bad behaviour, and demanded £5 to turn up for the film's auditions. [ [ Thomas Turgoose: the 13 year old cheeky chappy goes from Grimsby to the big screen | YOU Magazine ] ] The film was dedicated to Turgoose's mother, Sharon, who died of cancer on 29 December 2005; she never got to see the film, although she saw a short preview.

Critical reception

The film received very positive reviews from critics. As of 5 January 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 93% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 82 reviews. [cite web|url= |title=This Is England - Rotten Tomatoes |accessdate=2008-01-05 |publisher=Rotten Tomatoes] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 86 out of 100, based on 23 reviews — indicating "universal acclaim". [cite web|url= |title=This Is England (2007): Reviews |accessdate=2008-01-05 |publisher=Metacritic] The film appeared on several critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2007. [cite web|url= |title=Metacritic: 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists |accessdate=2008-01-05 |publisher=Metacritic]

*3rd - David Ansen, "Newsweek"
*7th - Marc Mohan, "The Oregonian"
*9th - Kevin Crust, "Los Angeles Times"

The film won the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film at the 2007 British Academy Film Awards. It also won the Best Film category at the 2006 British Independent Film Awards, with Thomas Turgoose winning the Most Promising Newcomer award.

Themes and plot

Primarily a semi-autobiographical coming-of age story, the movie has been perceived as criticizing racism and the National Front (NF). The film illustrates the fact that the skinhead subculture, whose roots are associated with Jamaican culture (especially ska, rocksteady and reggae music), eventually became adopted by white nationalist groups such as the NF. The movie is a view of 1980s England, featuring ramifications of the Falklands War and the rise of white nationalism.

The film begins in July 1983, with 12-year-old Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) getting in a fight at school after someone makes a bad joke about his father who died in the Falklands War. On his way home, in an unhappy mood, Shaun runs into a group of skinheads led by Woody, who feels sympathy for Shaun. The group eventually accepts Shaun as a member, and he develops a romance with Smell (Rosamund Hanson), an older girl who dresses in a punk/new wave style (similar to Boy George).

Combo (Stephen Graham), an older skinhead, returns to the group after serving a three and a half-year prison sentence. He attempts to enforce his leadership on the group and promote his white nationalist views. Combo causes the group to split in two, and Shaun decides to stay in Combo's group instead of leaving with the non-political skinheads led by Woody. One night, after Combo smokes marijuana that he bought from Milky (the only black skinhead from Woody's group), Combo snaps and beats Milky unconcious during an argument. The reason for this seems to be Combo's jealousy over Milky's strong family bonds - as opposed to Combo's background from a broken home. Almost killing Milky (we never learn how badly hurt Milky is), Combo shows panic (and, to some extent, remorse), and begs Shaun to help him get Milky to the hospital. The incident leads Shaun to sever his ties with Combo and the NF. The final scene shows Shaun throwing his St George's Cross flag in the sea.


Much of the film was shot in predominantly residential areas of Nottingham, including St Ann's, Lenton and The Meadows, with one section featuring abandoned houses at the former airbase RAF Newton, just outside of Bingham, Nottinghamshire. The opening fight sequence was filmed at Wilsthorpe Business and Enterprise College, a secondary school in Derbyshire. [ [ BBC News report] 12 September 2005] Additional scenes were filmed in Grimsby, Turgoose's home town.


*Shaun - Thomas Turgoose
*Woody - Joe Gilgun
*Milky - Andrew Shim
*Combo - Stephen Graham
*Lol - Vicky McClure
*Gadget - Andrew Ellis
*Smell - Rosamund Hanson
*Pukey - Jack O'Connell
*Kes - Kieran Hardcastle
*Meggy - Perry Benson
*Banjo - George Newton
*Mr. Sandhu - Kriss Dosanjh


External links

* [ Official site]
*imdb title|id=0480025|title=This Is England
*rotten-tomatoes|id=this_is_england|title=This Is England
*metacritic film|id=thisisengland|title=This Is England
*mojo title|id=thisisengland|title=This Is England
*amg movie|id=1:358990|title=This Is England
* [ interview with Shane Meadows]
* [ Report on This Is England] from More4 News
* [] - Interview with Stephen Graham about This Is England
* [,297,BA.html Shane Meadows at the Latitude Festival] , BAFTA webcast with Paul Herbert talking about This is England, July 2007

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