|The Football Factory|
|Directed by||Nick Love|
|Produced by|| Allan Niblo |
|Written by||Nick Love|
John King (novel)
|Starring|| Danny Dyer |
|Narrated by||Jonathan Heywood|
|Music by||Ivor Guest|
|Edited by||Stuart Gazzard|
|Distributed by||Momentum Pictures|
The Football Factory is a 2004 British sports drama film written and directed by Nick Love and starring Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, Frank Harper, Roland Manookian, Neil Maskell and Dudley Sutton. The film is loosely based on the novel of the same name by John Kingand the first foray into filmmaking by video game producers Rockstar Games(creators of games such as the Grand Theft Auto series, among others), credited as executive producers. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 14 May 2004.
In 2004, Chelsea F.C. football supporters' fanzine cfcuk produced a special edition, titled cfcuk - The Football Factory to coincide with the release of the film.
Tommy Johnson (Danny Dyer) is a member of a violent Chelsea hooligan firm and an eager ornithologist. His friends and fellow hooligans include Tommy's best friend Rod King (Neil Maskell), the hot-tempered Billy Bright (Frank Harper), and impulsive younger members Zeberdee (Roland Manookian) and Raf (Calum MacNab). Tommy spends his days drinking, using drugs, womanising and fighting, much to the disappointment of his grandfather Bill Farrell (Dudley Sutton), a pensioner and veteran who plans to move to Australia with his best friend Albert (John Junkin).
Tommy has an epiphany about his lifestyle during a fight with the Tottenham hooligan firm. Tommy, Billy and Rod are arrested for assaulting two Stoke City fans whilst travelling to an away match. These actions draw the fury of Harris (Tony Denham), the leader of the Chelsea firm, whose attempts to keep order are thwarted by Billy's aggressive outbursts.
Rod begins a relationship with Tamara (Sophie Linfield), the court clerk at their arraignment, and she pressures him to skip his weekend meets. Zeberdee and his friend Raff accidentally burgle Billy's house and are forced to stand in his living room, whilst Billy's children throw darts at them. Billy deals with his increasing loneliness after he overhears Harris discussing his irrelevance. Bill's plan to retire to Australia are postponed when Albert dies the night before they are to leave.
Early in the film, Tommy is caught and held hostage by the brother of Shian (Michele Hallak), a girl he picked up at a club. He is saved when Rod hits the man on the head with a cricket bat. Sian's brother turns out to also be the brother of the rival Millwall firm's leader, Fred (Tamer Hassan), who then hunts Tommy down throughout the entire film. The film culminates in a pitched battle between the Chelsea and Millwall firms. Rod (after a few espressos and a line of cocaine), leaves a dinner with Tamara's parents after offending them, and attends the "meet". Tommy is severely beaten by Fred and a group of Millwall hooligans, and ends up in the hospital with Bill, who, in the meantime, has suffered a heart attack.
At the end of the film, Tommy decides that his place is at the firm with his friends, Bill moves to Australia and Billy Bright is incarcerated for seven years after being arrested at the Millwall meet (whilst saving Harris from being arrested). Zeberdee is killed by a drug dealer whom he had previously mugged, fulfilling a recurring nightmare that tormented Tommy throughout the film.
The Football Factory trilogy consists of three novels by John King: The Football Factory , Headhunters , and England Away . Though the film shares a title with the first novel in the trilogy, the film deviates significantly from the source material. The most significant differences are changes to characters appearing in both works and the omission of plots or characters in the novel.
Tommy Johnson is arguably the main character in the novel but is absent from many chapters. In the film he is undeniably the main character and the few scenes that he does not appear in or narrate all involve characters he is close with (e.g. Billy Bright, the second-in-command of his firm or Rod, his "best mate"). Bright and Rod are also examples of characters that have the same name in both the film and novels but are substantively different. Additionally, the film omits some characters and plot lines entirely (only those plot lines actually appearing in the first novel are discussed below).
In the novels, Billy Bright is not married, has a crippled arm, is overtly racist (except in the presence of "Black Paul", a Chelsea hooligan of African descent), and is an orphan. By contrast, in the film he is married with children, has no physical deformity of his arm, is xenophobic but not explicitly racist, and is portrayed in a flashback as a young boy chasing recent immigrants out of his neighborhood with his father. The film never mentions whether Bright is adopted and it is neither mentioned nor implied that this is not his birth father.
In both the novels and film Rod is portrayed as a close friend of Tommy Johnson, but rather than being "best mates" as in the film the novel portrays them as part of a close-knit group of four or five members of the firm. This group, including Johnson, commonly berate him for his bachelor party held several years before the events of the novel, where he had sex on stage with a stripper while heavily intoxicated. This incident is never discussed in the film because Rod is portrayed as single though a subplot involves him potentially settling down.
The violent rivalry between the Chelsea firm (commonly known outside the works as the "Headhunters") and the Millwall firm ("Bushwhackers") plays a central role in both works. However, in the film Millwall's firm is made up largely of people of Turkish descent, whereas in the novel the firm is portrayed as primarily working-class White Britons (and indeed the narrators complain about Millwall's ties to neo-Nazism).
Millwall Football Club is a professional football club in Bermondsey, South East London, England. They compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football. Founded as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the club has retained its name despite having last played in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1910. From then until 1993, the club played at what is now called The Old Den in New Cross, before moving to its current home stadium nearby, called The Den. The traditional club crest is a lion rampant, referred to in the team's nickname 'The Lions'. Millwall's traditional kit consists of dark blue shirts, white shorts, and blue socks.
The Chelsea Headhunters are a notorious English football hooligan firm linked to the London football club Chelsea.
Green Street is a 2005 British-American independent drama film about football hooliganism in the United Kingdom. It was directed by Lexi Alexander and stars Elijah Wood and Charlie Hunnam. In the film, an American college student falls in with a violent West Ham football firm run by his brother-in-law's younger brother and is morally transformed by their commitment to each other.
Frank Harper is an English actor and film producer. He is best known for his "hard man" roles, such as "Billy Bright" in The Football Factory (2004) and "Dog" in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998).
Tamer Hassan is a British actor of Turkish Cypriot descent. He is best known for his role as the leader of the Millwall firm, opposite Danny Dyer, in The Football Factory. Hassan has also appeared in Batman Begins, Declan O'Brien's Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead and 2011's The Double with Topher Grace.
Nick Love is an English film director and writer. His credits include the films The Football Factory, The Business, Goodbye Charlie Bright, Outlaw, The Sweeney, and a 2009 remake of football hooliganism drama The Firm.
The Real Football Factories is a documentary series shown on the Bravo TV channel in the UK and created by Zig Zag Productions. The show looks at the in-depth life of football hooligans and hooligan firms. Interviews are conducted with past and present hooligans.
The Real Football Factories International is a documentary style program about football hooliganism across the world. The Real Football Factories was the first series, where presenter and actor Danny Dyer travelled the UK, meeting some of the more notorious football firms. In this spin-off series, Dyer goes international, meeting firms from across the globe. Dyer played the main character of Tommy Johnson, a main member of a fictional Chelsea firm in the 2004 film The Football Factory.
The Football Factory is the controversial debut novel of author John King, and is based around the adventures of a group of working-class Londoners who follow Chelsea home and away, fighting their rivals on the streets of England’s cities.
"No one likes us, we don't care" is a sports chant that originated as a football chant sung by supporters of the English association football club Millwall in the late 1970s. It is sung to the tune of Sailing by Rod Stewart.
Rise of the Footsoldier is a British crime and gangster film series written and directed by Julian and Will Gilbey and distributed by Optimum Releasing. The franchise and its first two films are based on true events featured in the autobiography of Inter City Firm hooligan turned gangster Carlton Leach before later films focus on the lives of drug dealers Pat Tate and Tony Tucker who were gunned down in the Rettendon murders in 1995.
Goodbye Charlie Bright is a 2001 comedy-drama film directed by Nick Love and starring Paul Nicholls, Roland Manookian and Danny Dyer. The film is also known by the U.S. title Strong Boys.
Roland Manookian is an English actor, who is most notable for his role as Zeberdee in the 2004 film The Football Factory, and as Craig Rolfe in Rise of the Footsoldier in 2007. He has also appeared in Guy Richie's Rocknrolla and Nick Love's Goodbye Charlie Bright and The Business. He has also appeared in episodes of The Bill in 1999 as Ben Glover.
The rivalry between Millwall and West Ham United is one of the longest-standing and most bitter in English football. The two teams, then known as Millwall Athletic and Thames Ironworks, both originated in the East End of London, and were located less than three miles apart. They first played each other in the 1899–1900 FA Cup. The match was historically known as the Dockers derby, as both sets of supporters were predominantly dockers at shipyards on either side of the River Thames. Consequently, each set of fans worked for rival firms who were competing for the same business; this intensified the tension between the teams. In 1904, West Ham moved to the Boleyn Ground which was then part of Essex until a London boundary change in 1965. In 1910, Millwall moved across the River Thames to New Cross in South London and the teams were no longer East London neighbours. Both sides have relocated since, but remain just under four miles apart. Millwall moved to The Den in Bermondsey in 1993 and West Ham to the London Stadium in Stratford in 2016.
The Firm is a British 2009 drama film based around football hooliganism written and directed by Nick Love. It is a remake of the original 1989 version.
There are two Arsenal hooligan firms, The Gooners and The Herd.
Neil Maskell is an English actor, writer, and director who is known for his appearances in British crime and horror films such as The Football Factory and Kill List.
The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan is a 2012 British crime film directed by Paul Tanter and starring Nick Nevern, Simon Phillips, Rita Ramnani, and Billy Murray.
The Hooligan Factory is a 2014 football hooliganism spoof film directed, co-written and starring Nick Nevern. The film heavily parodies titles from the British hooligan genre films and focuses mainly on The Firm, along with The Football Factory, Rise of the Footsoldier, I.D., Green Street and Cass.
Green Street 3: Never Back Down is a 2013 British film directed by James Nunn and a sequel to the 2009 film Green Street 2 directed by Jesse V. Johnson.
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