You could make the argument My Beautiful Laundrette is the most important movie of the past 50 years. In the 1980s the UK film industry was in a fairly difficult place. While British behind-the-scenes talent was much in demand by Hollywood to make some of their biggest movies – everything from Star Wars to Superman to Aliens was filmed in the UK – we were having less success with our own movies, at least on a mainstream level. Even those films that did find success were largely made with money from major American studios.
Then along came My Beautiful Laundrette, a film originally made for TV but which they decided was good enough to give a theatrical release to. Its surprise success got director Stephen Frears noticed around the world, who went on to make Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen and Philomena. However, more importantly it was the first theatrical feature for the production company Working Title and the first major critical/commercial cinema success for Channel Four/Film 4. [Read more…]