Review: ‘Raining Stones’

Repeating more or less the same formula as their 1991 success Riff-Raff, director Ken Loach and writer Jim Allen come up trumps with Raining Stones, a sad-funny portrayal of working class stiffs battling the recession in northern England.

Repeating more or less the same formula as their 1991 success Riff-Raff, director Ken Loach and writer Jim Allen come up trumps with Raining Stones, a sad-funny portrayal of working class stiffs battling the recession in northern England.

Pic, set in Manchester suburb of Middleton, centers on Bob (Bruce Jones), an out-of-work plumber who desperately needs money to pay for the expensive white dress he feels his small daughter deserves for her first communion. His attempts to earn much-needed cash include the bizarre (rustling a sheep and selling pieces of mutton at the local pub) to the comic (going door to door offering to fix faulty drains) to the dangerous (borrowing money from a loan shark).

Loach and Allen alternate comedy (some of it spoken in broad enough Manchester accents to warrant the use of subtitles) with suspense and tragedy. Jones is perfectly cast as the rumpled hero and Ricky Tomlinson (the guy caught in the bath in Riff-Raff) is a scream as his loyal, sardonic friend.

The title is derived from a comment made by Bob’s socialist father-in-law: ‘When you’re a worker, it rains stones seven days a week.’

Raining Stones

UK

Production

Parallax/Film Four. Director Ken Loach; Producer Sally Hibbin; Screenplay Jim Allen; Camera Barry Ackroyd; Editor Jonathan Morris; Music Stewart Copeland; Art Director Martin Johnson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Bruce Jones Julie Brown Ricky Tomlinson Tom Hickey Gemma Phoenix Jonathan James
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