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Blackball (2003)

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A rebellious young British bowls player teams with another older and more traditional player to take on the Australian bowls team.

Director:

Mel Smith

Writer:

Tim Firth (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Kaye ... Cliff
James Cromwell ... Ray
Alice Evans ... Kerry
Bernard Cribbins ... Mutley
Johnny Vegas ... Trevor
Vince Vaughn ... Rick
Imelda Staunton ... Bridget
James Fleet ... Alan the Pipe
David Ryall ... Giles Wilton
Ian McNeice ... Hugh The Sideburns
Kenneth Cranham ... Chairman Collins
Terry Alderton Terry Alderton ... Bouncer Jonno
Emma Amos ... Local News Reporter
Paul Bentall Paul Bentall ... Gate Guard (as Paul Bental)
Neil Conrich Neil Conrich ... Reporter Dave
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Storyline

Try as he might, the roguishly handsome Cliff Starkey, just can't keep out of trouble. In his sleepy home town on the English coast, nothing much inspires him...apart from bowls. Cliff has always preferred to play by his own rules much to the disapproval of the regimented, elderly bowls fraternity. Before long, the bay boy of bowls is turning the sedate and very English pastime upside down with hysterical results. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Feel The Passion Of The Balls. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 September 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Blackball See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,000, 13 February 2005

Gross USA:

$48,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,223,155
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "supercar" that Cliff (Paul Kaye) and pals test out is the TVR Tuscan. See more »

Goofs

During the England v. Australia match, most of the flags shown (including the graphics behind the "computer" head-shots) are Union Flags - the flag of the United Kingdom - and not St George Crosses - the flag of England. See more »

Quotes

Cliff: Is it on the condom?
Trevor: IT IS ON THE CONDOM!
See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Right Stuff (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Gentle comedy that we Brits do so well
5 September 2003 | by wrensterSee all my reviews

Ok, so this isn't going to be hailed the new The Full Monty, and doesn't have the romantic edge of Four Weddings And A Funeral, and it may not even have the charm of Bend It Like Beckham, but Blackball is an amusing, sometimes laugh-out-loud tale of the underdog winning through in the end.

Paul Kaye (more famous for his role of Dennis Pennis) plays Cliff, a guy living on a run-down estate but who has a talent for Crown Green Bowls, a sport more recognised for the older generation. But when a team from Australia are storming in the bowls arena, Cliff decides that his only way of getting to play them, is to win a bowls contest for the County Championship, a competition won 23 times in a row by Roy (James Cromwell). Of course he wins, but loses the championship and the chance to bowl for 15 years in professional competition due to a rule that Cliff broke.

The rise to fame is helped by a sleazy sports agent (Vince Vaughn) and Cliff becomes the bad boy of bowls. He also falls for Roy's daughter (Alice Evan s) and in his rise to the big time, almost loses everything that he holds dear to him, from his Grandad (Bernard Cribbins), his best friend (Johnny Vegas) and his girl.

This isn't going to win any major awards and may be forgotten about six months down the road, but it's an undemanding piece of comedy cinema that will have you chuckling all the way through. Nice performances from all involved, and a great soundtrack too.


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