You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Riff-Raff

Riff-Raff, a sprightly ensemble comedy about workers on a London building site, will surprise those who think Brit helmer Ken Loach can crank out only political items. Semi-improvised pic is strong on yocks and easy to digest.

With:
Robert Carlyle Emer McCourt Jimmy Coleman Ricky Tomlinson Willie Ross Derek Young

Riff-Raff, a sprightly ensemble comedy about workers on a London building site, will surprise those who think Brit helmer Ken Loach can crank out only political items. Semi-improvised pic is strong on yocks and easy to digest.

Central character is Stevie (Robert Carlyle), a young Glaswegian just out of stir, who’s come south and got a job converting a closed-down hospital into luxury apartments. His co-workers are from all over – Liverpudlians, Geordies (natives of Newcastle), West Indians. They’re breaking every regulation in the book and running scams on the side. Home is a squat in a dingy council block.

After Stevie meets Susan (Emer McCourt), a drifter from Belfast who’s trying to make it as a singer, they move in together and make a go of it in the big city. Story yo-yos between their fragile relationship and the shenanigans on the building site.

Fruity script by onetime laborer Bill Jesse (who died in 1990 just before the pic was completed) catches the wisecracking flavor of navvy repartee. Comedic tone also spills over into the love story. Thesping by no-name cast is strong and clearly benefits from Loach’s insistence that all actors have building-site experience.

Riff-Raff

UK

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

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Robert Carlyle Emer McCourt Jimmy Coleman Ricky Tomlinson Willie Ross Derek Young

More Film

  • France Selects 'Memoir of War' as

    France Selects 'Memoir of War' as Foreign-Language Oscar Candidate

    Riff-Raff, a sprightly ensemble comedy about workers on a London building site, will surprise those who think Brit helmer Ken Loach can crank out only political items. Semi-improvised pic is strong on yocks and easy to digest. Central character is Stevie (Robert Carlyle), a young Glaswegian just out of stir, who’s come south and got […]

  • Todd Haynes

    Todd Haynes to Direct Drama 'Dry Run' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Riff-Raff, a sprightly ensemble comedy about workers on a London building site, will surprise those who think Brit helmer Ken Loach can crank out only political items. Semi-improvised pic is strong on yocks and easy to digest. Central character is Stevie (Robert Carlyle), a young Glaswegian just out of stir, who’s come south and got […]

  • Jakob Dylan2018 Film Festival Opening Night

    LA Film Festival: Jakob Dylan Talks Music Documentary 'Echo in the Canyon'

    Riff-Raff, a sprightly ensemble comedy about workers on a London building site, will surprise those who think Brit helmer Ken Loach can crank out only political items. Semi-improvised pic is strong on yocks and easy to digest. Central character is Stevie (Robert Carlyle), a young Glaswegian just out of stir, who’s come south and got […]

  • Joaquin Phoenix Joker

    See Joaquin Phoenix in Joker Makeup

    Riff-Raff, a sprightly ensemble comedy about workers on a London building site, will surprise those who think Brit helmer Ken Loach can crank out only political items. Semi-improvised pic is strong on yocks and easy to digest. Central character is Stevie (Robert Carlyle), a young Glaswegian just out of stir, who’s come south and got […]

  • The Eternals Chloe Zhao

    Marvel's 'The Eternals' Taps 'The Rider' Director Chloe Zhao

    Riff-Raff, a sprightly ensemble comedy about workers on a London building site, will surprise those who think Brit helmer Ken Loach can crank out only political items. Semi-improvised pic is strong on yocks and easy to digest. Central character is Stevie (Robert Carlyle), a young Glaswegian just out of stir, who’s come south and got […]

  • Johnny Galecki First Time in Variety

    Johnny Galecki on Working With Harriet Nelson, Dick Butkus, Chevy Chase as a Child Actor

    Riff-Raff, a sprightly ensemble comedy about workers on a London building site, will surprise those who think Brit helmer Ken Loach can crank out only political items. Semi-improvised pic is strong on yocks and easy to digest. Central character is Stevie (Robert Carlyle), a young Glaswegian just out of stir, who’s come south and got […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content