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Films and TV and books depicting the 1980s? June 25, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Seeing as there was mention of the none more 1980s Iron Lady, any suggestions as to other films, tv or books on that period in time in Britain that people would recommend? A couple spring to mind but I’m interested in suggestions of the beaten track…


1. Joe O'Donnell - June 25, 2016

As far as fiction goes, Jonathan Coe’s “What a Carve Up!” is one of the definitive depictions of the grotesqueries of that age in the UK.


WorldbyStorm - June 25, 2016

I’d 100% agree. A fantastic book. Recommended.


2. oliverbohs - June 25, 2016

Threads.Can’t believe I was allowed to stay up to watch it then. Can’t believe the BBC made such a thing.
Otherwise, John Campbell’s second volume on Thatcher. And I know it doesn’t really count but Earthly Powers was published in 1980…


3. Michael Carley - June 25, 2016

Pride, Billy Elliott, The Rotter’s Club, Clash Of The Ash, The Crying Game, My Beautiful Launderette

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - June 26, 2016

Loved Pride. Didn’t expect it to be great and it was great. Not at all saccharine, really sound.


4. Dr. X - June 25, 2016

I recommend Simon Louvish’s The Last Trump of Avram Blok.

The third in SL’s Blok trilogy, the action shifts between UK and America, features Israeli beatniks, Jesuit peace activists, English lesbians and more, and includes a sequences set in Cardboard city, where one of the new homeless says “I had a job, a home, and a family, now gone with the wind of Maggie Thatcher’s arse”.

Liked by 1 person

5. LeftAtTheCross - June 25, 2016

“Rude Boy”, the film sort of about the Clash.

I can’t remember the name of it now, might be “East is East” or something like that, which depicts life in a mixed Pakistani / English family in the 70s in the North of England. It’s very funny.

“Deutschland 83” was quite good. Not about GB obviously but I thought it captured the whole Cold War thing very well.

“Boys from the Blackstuff” is probably a very obvious one.

And i have to admit being a big fan of Brookie back in the day. The Saturday afternoon omnibus of course. My mam used to give out to me watching that nonsense as she put it, until she got hooked on it herself. Anyhow it beat studying on a Saturday afternoon.


Michael Carley - June 25, 2016

It is East Is East and it’s great.


gendjinn - June 25, 2016

Deutschland 83 was outstanding!


6. Dr. X - June 25, 2016

David Peace’s GB84.

Crime novel set where the deep state met the miners’ strike.

Liked by 2 people

7. gendjinn - June 25, 2016

Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia (wrote My Beautiful Laundrette).

Boys from the Blackstuff, No Surrender, A Very British Coup.

Liked by 1 person

gendjinn - June 25, 2016

*slaps forehead*

The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa, Shirley Valentine, Educating Rita.


LefyAtTheCross - June 25, 2016

The Long Good Friday was on TV last year, brilliant film alright. Hadn’t seen it since it came out originally.

Must watch My Beautiful Launderette again, haven’t seen that in decades either.


gendjinn - June 25, 2016

One of the best gangster movies ever. And probably the best acting by Remington Steele ever.


8. roddy - June 25, 2016

Bleasedale is lauded while his unsympathetic treatment of all the Irish characters in “boys from the blackstuff” is overlooked. We have “thieving” Irish travellers,dodgy Irish builders and alcoholic Irish priests ,all who are blamed for the “boys” increasingly worsening plight.

Liked by 1 person

gendjinn - June 25, 2016

Yeah but with that filter on the 80s you’re down to The Magic Roundabout and Bagpuss, none of that xenophobic Trumpton or Camberwick Green thankyouverymuch.


9. Tomboktu - June 25, 2016

I’m with Michael on Pride.


10. sonofstan - June 26, 2016



gendjinn - June 26, 2016

Clockwork Orange?


WorldbyStorm - June 26, 2016

1984, the 1980s version. Hmmm… haven’t seen that in a while. Mind you, if we’re into allegory, then Brazil is a none-more-80s film.

Liked by 1 person

11. WorldbyStorm - June 26, 2016

By the way, thanks to everyone above for their thoughts. That’s a cool library of materials. Anyone know of anything about the Wapping dispute?


12. Dr.Nightdub - June 26, 2016

The “This Is England” series. Not from the 80s but captured the 80s in a way I don’t think any other movie or TV series could come close to.

“In The Name Of The Father” depicted the 70s but was equally applicable to the north in the 80s. I reckon “Hunger” would be its first cousin.


13. roddy - June 26, 2016

Ken Loache’s “hidden agenda” hit the nail on the head with regard to the North in the 80’s.


14. Joe O'Donnell - June 26, 2016

Was wondering whether any of you have read the recently published “Promised you a Miracle” by Andy Beckett?

It focuses on the early period of Thatcherism (the era of the inner city riots, ’80-’82, pre-Falklands & pre-Miners’ strike) where there was still no guarantee that the New Right would succeed in smashing the post-war settlement. Listening to a recent interview with Andy Beckett, it also weaves in the music of the day (as you might expect from the title) – stuff like “Ghost Town” and Heaven 17’s “Penthouse and Pavement” and how they reflected contemporary politics.

I was thinking of getting a copy of it, so I’d be interested in hearing what you think of it (Beckett’s previous book on Britain in the 1970s – “When the lights went out” – is meant to be great as well)>


15. oliverbohs - June 26, 2016

Not as good as his previous book if truth be told. The author’s creeping disillusionment with his project can be sensed. The interest in When the lights went out came from all potential roads not taken but that isn’t so apparent once you start to move through the new decade, Mrs. T’s initial unpopularity notwithstanding. Worth getting out of a library but Alwyn W Turner’s book on the 80s was better I thought IMHO

Liked by 1 person

16. hatfulofhistory - June 26, 2016

Depicting the 1980s, not the UK, would be ‘The Americans’ about the Reagan era of the Cold War.


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