1987 (1996)

Film details


1987. Nicky and Mary are now married, and Mary has just become a grandmother. Nicky is a successful photographer who has had various books of his work published, and Mary is still involved in local politics, being a Labour councillor. She is faced with hard decisions involving making cuts in services and being restricted from all she would like to do by government regulations. Felix has become more senile and keeps wandering off. Florrie realises she can no longer cope and Felix is put into a home. Christopher Collins, who used to torment Felix and Florrie, is involved in a siege on his estate and ends up being shot and injured by a police marksman. Whilst on a book-signing trip to London, Nicky encounters student Alice McDonald and ends up starting an affair with her. After a few occasions together, however, Alice suddenly ends the relationship. Tosker is still married to Elaine, and has become a slum landlord. Elaine dislikes this and is worried by the influence that Alan Roe has over him. Tosker then sells his properties, planning to set up a lucrative mortgage lending scheme for council tenants wanting to buy their houses. After Mary points out to Elaine that this is little more than a scam to either get high interest payments from people or gain repossessed properties at rock bottom prices, Elaine is livid. She physically attacks Tosker, throwing ornaments at him, after which the two sit down and seriously talk. Elaine firmly tells him to put their money in stocks and shares whilst they take time to think things through and sort out their relationship. However, "Black Monday" occurs, wiping out the value of their investments. Together they plan to sell their large house and buy a couple of karaoke pubs with the proceeds to get back on their feet. Whilst taking photographs of down and outs in London, Nicky is horrified to discover Geordie amongst them. Geordie is now an unkempt alcoholic who does not even recognise Nicky. Despite returning several times to where he first saw Geordie, Nicky is unable to find him again and feels guilty. Eddie Wells is a Labour MP but has been frustrated in all he had hoped to do, ending up a heavy drinker and bitter. He investigates into the abuses of "payments for questions" and the role of PR firms, particularly that run by Colin Butler, the man responsible for the smear campaign against Nicky in the 1979 election. He and Nicky have harsh words and fall out, but Nicky discovers that Eddie's researcher Francine is a plant by Colin Butler with whom she is sleeping and rushes to the Select Committee Eddie is chairing. He manages to inform Eddie of his being set up just before he is due to start questioning Butler, and embarrassingly Eddie has to give up his planned exposé. He then decides to retire and tries to persuade Mary to stand as candidate in his place. Mary refuses however. She also suspects that Nicky has been seeing someone else and after they have a row, Nicky walks out back to London. He tries to go out with Alice again, but she is embarrassed by his presence and makes it obvious she is not interested. Whilst at his hotel Mary unexpectedly turns up to try and save their marriage, and learns that part of his self-loathing and behaviour has stemmed from feeling "useless", something which Felix accused him of being. Geordie ends up in a hostel and after seeing Eddie Wells on television becomes confused in his mind, jumbling up some of the metaphors Eddie used in his announcement to expose corruption in government, and sets fire to his bed. He is tried in court for arson and is unexpectedly and harshly given a life imprisonment sentence. The 1987 hurricane hits the country. It causes the prison van in which Geordie and other prisoners are being transported to be held up, and they all escape whilst the officers are trying to clear the road of branches. However, Geordie ends up returning to the van. Outside the Houses of Parliament Eddie is suddenly struck by a heart attack whilst trying to gather up his papers that are being blown about.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top