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Beautiful Thing (1996, Glen Berry, Scott Neal)



Hettie Macdonald’s delightful feature debut stars Linda Henry, Glen Berry, Scott Neal and Tameka Empson in the seemingly unlikely romance between Jamie and Ste, from first nervous glances to the ingenious use of peppermint foot lotion. The Daily Mirror described it as ‘A superb, must-see movie,’ while The Sun commented, ‘Hysterically funny… a brilliant script’ and Premiere Magazine called it ‘The feelgood movie of the summer’.

It’s a long hot summer in South London and Jamie Gangel (Glen Berry) is bunking off school more than usual, while his mother (Linda Henry) juggles job promotion and her relationship with dippy hippy boyfriend Tony. Next door is sassy Leah (Tameka Empson), who spends her day listening to Mama Cass records. In the same block, Jamie’s classmate Ste (Scott Neal), although sporty and popular at school, is bullied by his drunken father. One day Ste seeks refuge in Sandra’s flat and ends up sleeping head to toe with Jamie…

production details
UK | 92 minutes | 1996

Director: Hettie MacDonald
Writer: Jonathan Harvey, from his own novel

Linda Henry as Sandra Gangel
Glen Berry as Jamie Gangel
Scott Neal as Ste Pearce
Tameka Empson as Leah
Ben Daniels as Tony
Meera Syal as Miss Chauhan
Garry Cooper as Ronnie Pearce
Andrew Fraser as Jayson
John Savage as Lenny
Jeillo Edwards as Rose
Terry Duggan as Kevin
Anna Karen as Marlene
Julia-Lee Smith as Gina
Daniel Bowers as Trevor
Martin Walsh as Mr Bennett
Jonathan Harvey as Petra
Marlene Sidaway as Betty
John Benfield as Rodney Barr