Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Full Monty (1997)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Full Monty (1997, UK)

In director Peter Cattaneo's international buddy film - a British, working-class comedic drama with music and very quirky characters - it was set in the 1990s in the northern British industrial steel city of Sheffield (South Yorkshire) where the steel industry and its steel mills were devastated - a far cry from 25 years earlier seen in a promotional film.

In the buoyant, fresh, celebratory and enjoyable rags-to-riches tale with discreet nudity, a small group of desperate, bored and poor working-class manual laborers (blokes) who lost work six months earlier in closed steel plants stepped outside their stereotyped definition of masculinity to perform rhythm-less dances. They reclaimed their lives by creatively using their bodies to acquire income; its taglines were: "The year's most revealing comedy" and "Six men. With nothing to lose. Who dare to go....THE FULL MONTY":

  • in the film's opening, two ex-steel workers had both lost their jobs and were on government assistance (the dole): divorced but determined Gary "Gaz" Schofield (Robert Carlyle) and his overweight best friend with low self-esteem Dave Horsfall (Mark Addy); Gaz's estranged 12 year-old son Nathan (William Snape) often reluctantly tagged along with his father; despairing of their financial situations, to earn extra money, the two resorted to robbing a rusty steel girder as scrap metal from a closed mill, and found themselves locked in the plant by an unwitting security guard; also, they were literally sinking and 'going under' as they stood on an abandoned car in the middle of a canal as they tried to cross the narrow steel beam to safety

Gary "Gaz" Schofield (Robert Carlyle)

Dave Horsfall (Mark Addy)
  • outside a local men's club known as the Millthorpe, "Gaz" found that the establishment had a long line (or queue) of women waiting outside (for its "females only" night on May 4th) and paying an expensive cover charge of 10 quid for a one-time striptease show featuring a touring, exotic male stripper Chippendale-like group; he dismissed the male dancers as "puffs" (feminine homosexuals)
  • while Gaz was hiding in the club's GENTS room during the show, a trio of women charged in (to avoid the queue at the ladies' room), and Gaz was aghast looking through the toilet stall door noticing that one female tart had pulled up her skirt and lowered her pants and was urinating against a wall; he kept it a secret that Dave's wife Jean (Lesley Sharp) was one of the three
  • later, at the Job Centre while applying for work, a worried Gaz told Dave about how women were subverting his male power: "When women start pissing like us, that's it. We're finished, Dave. Extincto....They're turning into us. A few years and men won't exist...We're not needed no more, are we? Obsolete"; they quickly calculated how much money the men's club was making from the men's strip show, and wondered how they might get in on the scheme
  • Gerald Arthur Cooper (Tom Wilkinson) - their ex-foreman, was also financially stricken and applying for work; he overheard their musings about "prancing round Sheffield with their widgers out" and added: "Widgers on parade! Bring a microscope!"; he criticized Dave's and Gaz's idea: "Because you're fat and he's thin, and you're both f--kin' ugly"
  • "Gaz" was faced with losing visitation rights with his son Nathan if he couldn't afford joint-custody child support payments of 700 quid a month to his ex-wife Mandy (Emily Woof), a factory manager, and her new live-in boyfriend Barry (Paul Butterworth); and Dave feared losing his store-clerk wife Jean due to his sexual impotency and other strains on their marriage
  • nonetheless, Gaz set about to devise his own low-rent group of male strippers in a profitable, but crazy get-rich-quick scheme for his group of unemployed friends to make money by performing a strip-act; it was a bold idea, since he feared that their less-than-perfect, flawed and average bodies would be a turn-off, especially Dave who was heavy-set and body self-conscious
  • "Gaz" and Dave recruited another ex-steel worker to participate in their crazy strip-act plan - a security guard named Lomper (Steve Huison) who had a history of depression; they happened to save him in a doomed-to-fail attempt to asphyxiate himself by carbon monoxide poisoning in his exhaust-filled car; it was mostly a call for help, because Lomper wasn't serious about actually killing himself; afterwards, he returned home where he cared for his invalid elderly Mum (June Broughton)
  • that night at Lomper's place of work with his son Nathan and Dave looking on, "Gaz" - illuminated by a car's headlights, performed an uncoordinated practice strip-dance to the tune of "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate; when the record skipped, he abruptly stopped and excused himself: "I need an audience," although Dave thought otherwise: "You need a doctor"; his embarrassed son Nathan ran off, but later was found walking home; "Gaz" explained his motivations: "I'm trying to get some brass together so as you and me can keep seein' each other"
  • the next person to be recruited - the uptight, snobbish, middle-aged Gerald who had already been introduced at the Job Centre, was discovered in the evening dancing with his wife Linda (Deirdre Costello) in an amateur ballroom dance class; each morning for six months, in order to keep his unemployment a secret from his credit card-obsessed and spendthrift wife, he had been dressing up and going off to work; he even assented to her unrealistic demands to take a ski trip holiday; he was skeptical of the talent and dancing skill of the steel workers and their Chippendales "malarkey": "Dancers have coordination, skill, timing, fitness, and grace. Take a long, hard look in the mirror"; later in the day, he blamed them for sabotaging his chances at his first job interview in months when they distracted him by playfully holding up gnomes at a window that had been taken from his home
  • afterwards, Gaz and the group apologized for their prank that cost him a job, and begged for Gerald to be the group's dance instructor; initially, he rejected their offer: "It's not my kind of dancing, is it? It's all arse wiggling" but then reluctantly accepted
  • to the tune of "Je t' non plus" (by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin), a stripper audition was held in an empty warehouse to add more members; the first auditioner Reg (Bruce Jones) fumbled removing his pants, felt humiliated by the act of stripping, and abruptly decided to leave; next was elderly black man Barrington "Horse" Mitchell (Paul Barber) who had a "dodgy hip," but claimed he was knowledgeable about earlier-era dance moves (the Bump, the Stomp, the Bus Stop, and the Funky Chicken) and then added: "Me break dancing days are probably over"; he impressed the judges with his spirited dancing to Wilson Pickett's "Land of a Thousand Dances"
  • when uncoordinated candidate Guy (Hugo Speer) (who claimed he loved Singin' in the Rain (1952), especially the scene of Donald O'Connor running up a wall during the song "Make 'Em Laugh") was asked by Gaz in the panel of judges: "You don't sing....You don't dance....Hope you don't think I'm being nosy, but, uh, what do you do?"; to answer, he dropped his pants and Gaz observed: "Gentleman, the lunch box has landed"; Guy was immediately selected for his anatomical large endowment
Stripper Auditions

Panel of Judges in Empty Warehouse

Auditioner Guy (Hugo Speer)

Gaz: "The Lunchbox Has Landed"

Guy With His Pants Pulled Down
  • while watching the shoplifted video of Flashdance (1982) featuring a female welder named Alex (Jennifer Beals) (after criticizing her flawed welding skills), the group acquired some tips from the film's gymnastic dance-audition finale, and Gerald was excited: "That, gentlemen, is what we are looking for"; he promised to teach the group how to dance in two weeks, although the insecure Dave was unsure
  • during hilarious practice rehearsals, the clutzy would-be dancers worked on their bump and grind act with Gerald as their instructor; they practiced one day inside Gerald's home - stripping down to their underwear
  • believing that his father would pay him back, Nathan lent his father £100 from his savings in order to reserve and book the local club for their show
  • "Gaz" spread the news that their male strippers show for women only, dubbed "Hot Metal" and with the tagline: "WE DARE TO BE BARE!", would be unique by going "the full monty" (or complete nudity "with their widges hangin' out" - "widges on parade") - "We've gotta give them more than your average ten-bob stripper"; the group was aghast, especially Dave: "No way. No and never. In that order, kid"
  • in the film's famous short dole queue scene at the Job Centre - a Chippendales-style, feel-good moment - the unemployed working-class men from the Sheffield mill factory heard Donna Summer's 70s disco hit Hot Stuff on the radio and rhythmically started moving, unable to resist the beat - they first slowly shifted in place, moving one body part at a time, until they were fully dancing in unison; Gaz was fully amused
Job Centre Line-Dancing
  • Dave expressed concerns about his out-of-shape figure, and having his physical attributes judged by women - a reversal of the normal pattern: ("I mean, what if next Friday, 400 women turn around and say: 'He's too fat, he's too old, and he's a pigeon-chested little tosser. What happens then, eh?...Bullocks to your personality. This is what they're looking at, right? And I tell you summat, mates. Anti-wrinkle cream there may be, but anti-fat-bastard cream, there is none")
  • Gerald worried privately with Dave about stripping and having an erection; he recalled his youth at coed swimming lessons when he acquired a "stiffy" viewing "the pretty lassies around in bikinis"; to hide his embarrassment, he explained: "I jumped into t' deep end. I nearly f--king drowned! What if it happens again? Think of that, eh? In front of 400 women!"
  • due to his own body-image issues, Dave dropped out briefly and found employment as a security guard at a British supermarket chain (Asda); plans for the strip show were in jeopardy
  • just before their Friday performance, the strip dancers prepared to hold a public dress rehearsal on Tuesday for Horse's family members, including his two sisters, mother (Muriel Hunte) and teenaged niece Beryl (Fiona Watts); the group discussed subjects to think about to distract them from getting erections: "Double-glazing salesmen. Gardening. The Queen's speech. A Dire Straits double album. Nature programmes"; during their performance to the tune of Garry Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2", Horse's mother was knitting and taking looks, while all of them attempted to stifle their laughter; three of the group (Horse, Gaz and Gerald) were caught and arrested for indecent exposure; wearing their red-leather thong underwear, Lomper and Guy successfully fled to Lomper's house, and found themselves staring fondly at each other (revealing their gay tendencies)
  • at the same time, Gerald's ploy to keep his unemployment a secret for six months from his wife Linda ended, as his home's furniture (sun-bed, car and TV) was being repossessed; she threw him out of the house; Gaz was ordered to stay away from his son, and Lomper's mother passed away; at her funeral, Lomper played "Abide with Me" on a trumpet with the band
  • as a result of their arrest, the group became front-page news: ("STEEL STRIPPERS EXPOSED - Child found as police raid uncovers naked dance gang"), and they also learned that their show had sold 200 tickets, amounting to "two grand"; the entire group of six dancers was persuaded to perform for one-night only
  • adding to Dave's problems at home was his wife Jean's discovery of his stripping outfit - she suspiciously thought he was being unfaithful by having an affair ("I never had you down for this sort of caper, David"); he talked sense into her: ("Me and Gaz and some fellas thought we could make a bob or two taking us clothes off") and she assured him that she wanted to attend his show
  • in the uplighting finale, the night of their act, Nathan ordered his reluctant father Gaz to join the five others on stage - and to perform for the mixed audience; Dave announced to the cheering crowd: "We may not be young, we may not be pretty, we may not be right good, but we're here. We're live, and for one night only, we're going for the full monty!"
The Final Freeze Frame
  • the stripper group restored their dignity and amusingly stripped on-stage during a rendition of Tom Jones' "You Can Leave Your Hat On," as they went "the full monty" - they quickly transitioned from dark blue uniforms to skimpy red-leather G-string thongs; then they removed their underwear to the delight of many screaming female fans, including Dave's wife Jean and Gaz's ex-wife Mandy in the audience (who changed from being vindictive to being accepting), and covered their privates with their hats - the last remaining article of clothing. They only displayed their nude cheek bottoms when they were viewed from the rear. The image froze on the group when they tossed away their hats - seen from behind as they revealed all

(l to r): Gaz, Nathan, Dave

Gaz's Inspiration: A One-Night Only Chippendale-like Act at a Sheffield Men's Club

In the Men's Club Rest Room, a Female Urinated Against a Wall Standing Up

Gerald (Tom Wilkinson), Ex-Foreman Also Unemployed in the Job Centre

Gaz' Ex-Wife Mandy (Emily Wood) with Her New Boyfriend Barry

Lomper's Faulty Attempted Suicide in His Exhaust Filled Car

"Gaz" - Strip-Dancing to "You Sexy Thing"

An Attempt to Recruit Gerald at His Evening's Ballroom Dance Class with His Wife Linda

Auditioner Elderly "Horse" Mitchell (Paul Barber)

Practicing Dance Moves In Their Underwear in Gerald's Home

Hot Metal: "WE DARE TO BE BARE!"

With Body-Image Issues, Dave Worried About His Physical Attributes ("Anti-fat-bastard cream, there is none")

Gerald's Concerns About Getting a "Stiffy"

Dress Rehearsal for Horse's Family Members

Three Group Members Arrested for Indecent Exposure

The Full Monty Show


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