February 28, 2017


Once Upon a Time in the Midlands – 2002 | 104mins | Comedy, Drama | Colour


Plot Synopsis

Once Upon a Time in the Midlands

Co-written with Paul Fraser and directed by Shane Meadows, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands is a skewed parody of the spaghetti western shot on location in Nottingham. Meadows’ third feature is an entertaining love-triangle once again set against a Midlands working-class background and doubtless his most mainstream film to date, in addition to plenty of laughs there’s some touching moments of drama in this interspersed genre jaunt.

Dek (Rhys Ifans) and Shirley (Shirley Henderson) live together with 12 year-old Marlene, her daughter by the sexy, Scottish delinquent Jimmy (Robert Carlyle) who went off into the badlands of Glasgow years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. The dependable Welshman Dek loves Shirley so much that he humiliates her by proposing without warning on The Vanessa Feltz Show on daytime television. Like everyone else Shirley has ever met, Jimmy is watching when she turns Dek down on TV and he returns to town, determined to reclaim his girl.

Shirley allows Jimmy to move back into the family home and seems destined to succumb to his charms, but he hasn’t reckoned on the obstacles: their fiercely independent daughter Marlene, his sister Carol (Kathy Burke), her estranged husband Charlie (Ricky Tomlinson), their sons Emerson and Lake, Carol’s daughter Donna, her boyfriend Donut. Nor could he anticipate the heroic, last minute challenge from mild-mannered, lovesick Dek.

Production Team

Shane Meadows: Director
Anthea Nelson: Art Direction
Brian Tufano: Cinematography
Robin Fraser-Paye: Costume Design
Peter Beston: Editing
Trevor Waite: Editing
Pebbles: Makeup Department
Sharon Martin: Makeup Department
John Lunn: Original Music
Andrea Calderwood: Producer
Crispian Sallis: Production Design
Shane Meadows: Script
Paul Fraser: Script
Paul Hamblin: Sound Department
Colin Nicolson: Sound Department


Robert Carlyle: Jimmy
Rhys Ifans: Dek
Kathy Burke: Carol
Shirley Henderson: Shirley
Ricky Tomlinson: Charlie
Vanessa Feltz: Chat Show Host
Vic Reeves: Plonko
Bob Mortimer: Kung-Fu Clown

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