The Full Monty ★★★★★
These days it’s well known as a hen-night musical, but The Full Monty was first a notable break-out hit in 1997, and found an international audience without resorting to the “heritage” trappings of period drama, and with only one biggish name in Robert Carlyle. (That said, it made stars of Tom Wilkinson and Mark Addy.) In Simon Beaufoy’s witty, humane script, six unemployed Yorkshiremen turn themselves into a motley Chippendales-style troupe, a hook for ribald scenes aplenty but also poignant social commentary about post-industrial Britain. From this foundation, with a likeable cast and sure direction from Peter Cattaneo (most recently at the helm of The A Word on BBC1), The Full Monty forges a frothy, camp comedy with a super soundtrack of pop hits from Hot Chocolate to Donna Summer. Hugely influential and abidingly uplifting, it came home with only one of its four potential Oscars: Anne Dudley won for her clever, 20-minute score.
For more of today’s free-to-air films, see our TV listings