‘I spent months learning the flugelhorn – and I didn’t even have to play it’
Pete Postlethwaite, who was playing my father, took me down to Grimethorpe a week before filming to talk to locals and let them know this was their story. The miners were reticent at first. Not long before, a TV crew had stitched up the town, getting kids to throw stones at derelict buildings and making it seem as if it was a regular occurrence, as if Grimethorpe had become a wild west town. [ . . . ]
One of Johnny Foreigner”s favorite British films of the ’90s was Mark Herman’s Brassed Off – 1996 British-American comedy-drama film written and directed by Mark Herman and starring Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald and Ewan McGregor. These’s so much to love about the movie, including the brass band music, but especially the performance by one of the greatest British actors of all time – Pete Postlethwaite as the bandleader/miner “Danny.” If you’ve never seen this movie, grab it from Netflix or Amazon.
The film is about the troubles faced by a colliery brass band, following the closure of their pit. The soundtrack for the film was provided by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and the plot is based on Grimethorpe’s own struggles against pit closures. It is generally very positively received for its role in promoting brass bands and their music. Parts of the film make reference to the huge increase in suicides that resulted from the end of the coal industry in Britain, and the struggle to retain hope in the circumstances. [Wikipedia]