The Full Monty is a 1997 British comedy film. It tells the story of six unemployed men, four of them former steel workers, who decide to form a male striptease act (à la Chippendale dancers) in order to gather enough money to get somewhere else and for main character Gaz to be able to see his son. Gaz declares that their show will be better than the Chippendales dancers because they'll go "the Full Monty" strip all the way hence the film's title. Despite being a comedy, the film also touches on serious subjects such as unemployment, fathers' rights, depression, impotence, homosexuality, working class culture and suicide. The film was rated a 15 in Britain for frequent strong language. The Full Monty is set in Sheffield, England, and stars Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, William Snape, Steve Huison, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Barber, and Hugo Speer. The story was conceived by co-producer, Paul Bucknor, and the screenplay was written by Simon Beaufoy. The film was directed by Peter Cattaneo.
Sheffield... the beating heart of Britain's industrial north", as described by the narrator in a short film visualising the city's economic prosperity, borne out of Sheffield's highly successful steel industry. The film shows busy steel mills, producing everything from kitchen cutlery to tensile girders, along with the by-products of the mills' prosperity... successful retail establishments, nightclubs, and attractive housing. The film concludes with "thanks to steel, Sheffield really is a city on the move!" Fast forward to a quarter century later in the same city but in far different light than that of the early-1970s. The once-successful steel mills of then have grown brown with rust, rolling equipment has been removed, and the lines are silent. Gary "Gaz" Schofield (Robert Carlyle) and Dave Horsefall (Mark Addy), desperate to make some money, are inside their former workplace trying to get a steel beam out of the mill with the intent of selling it. They attempt to get the beam out of the mill by crossing the canal on the roof of a half sunken car, which promptly topples back and forth. Undaunted, they try to salvage the beam, but their attempts prove futile. Gaz is later informed by his ex-wife that she intends to take court action against him for the child support payments that he's failed to make since losing his job. Compromising the situation further is Gaz's son, Nathan (William Snape), who reluctantly spends time with Gaz. He grows tired of his father's seeming lack of motivation to do something with his life and get his act together. While Gaz, Dave, and Nathan are walking down a street, they see a line of women gathered for a Chippendales show outside a Working Man's Club they frequent. Intrigued by the women's willingness to stand in line for a striptease act, Gaz is convinced that his ship has finally come in: he decides to organize a similar act of his own, with the intent to earn enough money to pay for his child support obligations. The first to join the act is gauche and lonely Lomper (Steve Huison), a security guard at Harrison's, the steel mill where Dave and Gaz once worked. After Lomper finally loses his job long after the mill shuts down, he tries to commit suicide by asphyxiating himself in his car via carbon monoxide poisoning. Dave pulls him out, strongly resisted at first by Lomper's stubborn-minded protests. He ultimately has no rebuttal to Dave's more relentless logic and with the reassurance of his new-found friends behind him, Lomper joins the fledgling lineup. His rescue and inclusion in the group gives him a newly-optimistic and confident outlook on life. Next on Dave and Gaz's list is their former foreman, the middle-class aspirant Gerald Arthur Cooper (Tom Wilkinson), whom they witness performing at a sequence dancing class with his immaculately-groomed wife. They later approach him about giving them lessons, but Gerald rebuffs them with insults, telling them he's on his way to a job interview and has no time for their coarseness and irreverence. Gaz and Dave tail Gerald to the interview, where they distract him from outside the office window to the point where he blows the interview. He confronts them both at the local Job Club, loses his temper and physically assaults Gaz as he reveals that had he been successful, he could have continued to conceal his unemployment from his wife (who is still spending whilst not knowing her husband has been out of work for months). A despondent Gerald leaves Job Club and sits on a park bench, all but emotionally defeated. Dave and Gaz patch things up with Gerald and tell him of their scheme. With literally no options left, Gerald agrees to be the act's choreographer. In a sequence of darkly comic scenes, various former co-workers of Gaz and Dave perform a strip-tease for them as their audition. One of the auditioners is invited to sit down after he flunks; he declines, saying that his children are outside waiting 'in the car' and that 'this is no place for kids' before glancing pointedly at Nathan (recruited by his father Gaz to work their stereo) before leaving. Other auditioners are hired: whether for their comprehensive dance knowledge (whilst overlooking evidence of advanced arthritis) in the case of Barrington 'Horse' Mitchell (Paul Barber), and jaw-dropping, euphemism-inducing penis size in the case of Guy (Hugo Speer), who exposes it with pride to the five men, including Nathan. As the men practice, doubts continue to creep in about whether this is the best way to make some money, due to their individual insecurities over their appearances (Dave is overweight, for example). When the men are approached on the street by local women acquaintances who have heard of their show, Gaz declares that their show will be better than the Chippendales dancers because they'll go "the Full Monty" - strip all the way hence the film's title. Dave quits less than a week before the show, deprecating himself as a 'fat bastard' whom no one would want to see in the nude - including his wife, Jean. During a dress rehearsal in front of Horse's family, the rest of the men get literally caught with their pants down in the abandoned factory they use for their practice, causing an unconventional chase scene involving most of the main characters running from their pursuers wearing orange leather thongs. Two of the strippers, Guy and Lomper, successfully escape. Guy, after going through a window grabs on to Lomper's back, feet, and butt to pull him in. They look at each other for a while, and embrace (the two are later seen holding hands at the funeral of Lomper's mother). Those the police caught, including Gaz, Gerald and Horse, are initially charged with indecent exposure; until the police review the surveillance tapes from the factory and their secret is revealed. When they are released, however, Gaz's ex-wife arrives at the station to take Nathan home, and afterward, she and her new boyfriend take out a court order against Gaz, which prevents him from seeing Nathan. All seems lost, with the entire city of Sheffield knowing who the members of Hot Metal are and the cast ready to quit, until the owner of the pub informs Gaz that he has already sold 200 tickets for their show. Despite the good news (delivered by Gaz to his group-mates at a local job club), Dave still insists he can't perform. Upon returning home, Dave's wife Jean confronts him after finding his G-string from the act, as she had assumed that his late nights out (and the thong) meant he was having an affair with another woman. Dave explains what he really has been doing and breaks down emotionally in front of her, revealing his insecurity about stripping in public due to his weight. Jean comforts him in a very touching scene where she tells him that she wants to see him dance. With not much left to lose, and a sold-out show, the men decide to go for it for one night (including Gerald, who has got the job from the interview he thought he'd failed). Dave, having re-gained his confidence with help from his wife, joins the rest of the group literally minutes before they go on stage. However, Gaz himself refuses to do it even when Nathan (who has secretly come) tells him that his ex-wife was there. Nathan later forces his hand and Gaz, proud of his son, performs in front of the audience and his ex-wife who seems to see him in a new light. The film ends with the group on stage in front of a packed house, stripping to Tom Jones' version of You Can Leave Your Hat On (their hats being the final item removed).