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Mersey Movies

Posted November 20, 2009 to photo album "Mersey Movies"

FilmInFocus’ Nick Dawson picks out 10 films made in Liverpool that demonstrate the city’s diverse cinematic history.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: The Magnet (1950)
Slide 3: Gumshoe (1971)
Slide 4: Letter to Brezhnev (1985)
Slide 5: Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
Slide 6: Hear My Song (1991)
Slide 7: Backbeat (1994)
Slide 8: Hilary and Jackie (1998)
Slide 9: Formula 51 (2001)
Slide 10: The Parole Officer (2001)
Slide 11: Millions (2004)
Slide 4: Letter to Brezhnev (1985)

Slide 4: Letter to Brezhnev (1985)

Merseyside during the depressed Thatcher years was the setting for Chris Bernard's bittersweet romantic comedy Letter to Brezhnev, which had the tagline "From Liverpool to Russia, with Love." The film centers on two twentysomething Scouse girls, idealistic Elaine (Alexandra Pigg) and her brasher, more pragmatic best friend Teresa (Margi Clarke), who meet and fall for a couple of Russian sailors (Peter Firth and An Education's Alfred Molina) who are on leave in the city. Set on the backstreets and docklands of the city, Bernard's movie juxtaposed the desperation of unemployment-hit Liverpool with the tough times of those behind the Iron Curtain, presenting love as just as realistic and tangible source of hope as anything else for its protagonists. A popular and critical hit at the time of release, Letter to Brezhnev was not above being playfully biting about its setting; at one point, a taxi driver exclaims, "Just look at this city, whoever did the planning for all this wants his balls roasted."