DVD The Hot Potato

DVD The Hot Potato
DVD The Hot Potato

Rating: 5.1
Genres: Drama
Director: Tim Lewiston
Writers: Tim Lewiston
Stars: Ray Winstone, Colm Meaney, Jack Huston
London’s East End 1969. Based on real events. Two chancers ‘find’ a lump of Uranium and crisscross Europe to find a buyer. Accompanied by Danny’s girl,the lovely Carole. They encounter a diverse cast of bizarre characters, all trying to steal the ‘Hot Potato’, but a deal agreed inside the Vatican has the co-conspirators confounding each other. The story twists and turns to an exciting and unexpected finale. Written by Peter Joly
Plot Keywords: 1960s, gangster, dark humor, black comedy, caper
Country: UK
Release Date: 4 July 2012 (UK)
Box Office
Budget: £6,000,000 (estimated)


  1. The 'official' blurb kinda tells the tale, but I would have said it thus: two London Eastend gobshites acquire a lump of 'hot' (meaning a chattel to which they do not have absolutely clear title of ownership) uranium and decide to 'monetize' it, as our yank cousins would put it.

    First they approach Colin Meany's character, the local heavy, Harry – a role just made for Colm! – who takes them to 'the twins' – obviously you should read the psycho 'Cray Bros.' here – after which we meet a succession of weird and wonderful con artists, villains, bullies and a really spooky CIA spook.

    And all the time the characters' domestic arrangements are moving ahead, complexifying the action and putting additional demands on the characters.

    The action is full of novel ideas and twists and turns, yet never inconsistent – the storyline is well served by script and actors. Worthy of remark is the cinematography in so many European city locations, as well as out in the bush.

    Overall it's just a fabulous film, the only way to lose interest during this is to die (laughing or otherwise) during the show. As another commentator remarked, it is not full of the foulmouthedness so usual today, and I must also remark that – unlike Hollywood – it did not leave a death toll to compare with Dachau, as most yank 'entertainments' do.

    Buy it, rent it, pirate it – just don't miss it!

  2. The premise for this so-called 60's style Brit caper sounded intriguing…except that only Ray Winstone has any sort of character or charisma.

    Where the likes of Terry Thomas and Peter Sellers had oodles of fizz and bang and entertained us, when the script was a dud, this is just a dud all round. The other characters – and their actors I've already forgotten, ten minutes after it's finished. They might as well been office furniture for all their presence and acting.

    The script is obvious and rather boring as we now know all about Plutonium – it has no excitement value whatsoever. The movie seemed to have the budget of a TV pilot 'special' – it's so obviously struggling that it's rather embarrassing. The direction, too, is particularly feeble, without any panache or style whatsoever.

    I've been generous with my 3/10. It's not going to be too awful for those that might buy the DVD if they have a good idea of what sort of movie they're getting but for most Hot Potato is a waste of time and effort. And, yes, I do enjoy and own many of the old genuine 60's films on DVD – Too Many Crooks, for example – brilliant! Buy that instead!

  3. This film had so so much potential, but the bloody music, especially the starting credit music really dampened everything.

    If the soundtrack was more upbeat then yes, this film could of been right up there with LSTSB.

    Ray did a grand job, and is a lucky sod too having of had the pleasure of kissing the lovely, Louise I may add.

    It was also great being a time warp film and seeing some great old classic cars.

    Don't get me wrong, this film has it's flaws, but the story holds up, and keeps you interested. No switching off half way through with this flick.

    Overall, good entertainment with a few beers. Buy, rent, enjoy!

  4. Oi – 'andsome. Check this out…

    Writer/director Tim Lewiston gives us a throwback to the sixties both in period and style.

    Kenny (Ray Winstone) and Danny (Jack Huston), scrap metal merchants in London's East End have illicitly come into possession of a piece of uranium – the 'Hot Potato' of the title, so-called both for its likeness to a potato and its deadliness. Once they realise what it is and what it's worth, they call in outside help to find a buyer.

    With the involvement of Harry (Colm Meaney) a goodhearted heavy who works for Bill (John Lynch) and Ben, two Irish brothers running the local gang, our two heroes, along with Danny's girlfriend Carole (Lois Winstone) soon find themselves embroiled in double-dealing with various characters as they criss-cross Europe.

    Along for the ride are Fritz (Derren Nesbitt), the duplicitous German, his equally duplicitous cohort Koppel (Jean-Louis Sbille), Harrison (David Harewood) a sinister American claiming to be in the CIA and Claudia (Maike Billits) the glamorous Italian intriguante. Meanwhile Kenny's wife Irene (Louise Redknapp) waits fretfully at home.

    The Hot Potato rolls along quite nicely. With a scarcity of bad language and violence, some nice comedic touches and moments of tension keep us fairly absorbed. Ray Winstone shows a nicely understated side to his nature and is ably supported by a cast which, unlike a lot of modern British comedy films is not filled out with cameos from 'names'. Despite not being either hilariously funny or overtly dramatic both script and dialogue hold up well and it never overstays its welcome.

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