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Film / Fisherman's Friends

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He was a fish out of water, but to get them on board he’ll need to change his tune.

A 2019 British Comedy-Drama film directed by Chris Foggin, based on the true story of the Cornish folk group The Fisherman's Friends. Starring Daniel Mays, James Purefoy and Tuppence Middleton.

When high-flying yet cynical London music executive Danny (Mays) joins his boss and colleagues for a short holiday in the small Cornish fishing village of Port Issac, his boss, Troy, decides to pull a prank on Danny by leaving him behind in the village and telling him that he needs to sign up a local group of fishermen, lead by grumpy Jim (Purefoy), who sing traditional Sea-Shanties, known locally as the "Fisherman's Friends".

From there, Danny struggles to gain the trust and acceptance of the group who will happily put their community first over fame and fortune. He also begins to become enamored with the music, the small-town lifestyle, and Jim's daughter Alwyn (Middleton), and reflects on what success truly means.

A sequel, Fisherman's Friends: One and All, was released August 2022.

Previews: Trailer ''Record Deal'' Clip ''Sailor in All of Us'' Clip ''Little Liz'' Clip


  • Abandoned Mine: This is a plot point in the sequel when Tamsyn and Jim’s mother fall down a tin mine.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: The first comment Alwyn makes about Danny is that he's a "tosser" note  because one of his colleagues was driving the wrong way down a one-way street. She says this in front of her young daughter. When Danny later goes to visit them, the kid calls out: "Mummy, it's that tosser!" Danny clearly finds this amusing.
  • And Starring: As seen on the poster above, Noel Clarke (Troy) gets this credit. Even though he does not appear on the poster.
  • Bad Boss: Troy, who leaves Danny in Port Isaac with instructions to sign the group up to his record label — a deal he has no intention of honouring. When Danny actually manages to sign them up, Troy doesn't want to know, and later goes out of his way to sabotage Danny’s attempts to get them a record deal elsewhere.
  • Dead Person Conversation: In the sequel, Jim has several conversations with his deceased father Jago who died in the previous movie.
  • Disappeared Dad: Tamsyn’s father is completely absent from his daughter’s life.
  • Fish out of Water: Danny is completely out of his element when he goes from busy London to a small Cornish coastal village, and gets left there by his colleagues.
  • Folk Music: This is what the Fisherman's Friends sing.
  • Friend to All Children: Danny, whose friendliness towards Alwyn's young daughter is one of the first indicators that, unlike his colleagues, he's not some Jerkass from the big city.
  • From New York to Nowhere: Danny leaves London with his friends on a lads' weekend to a small Cornish fishing village, and ends up stranded there when his boss and colleagues leave him behind as a prank.
  • Irrational Hatred: After the locals learn that Rowan has sold the pub, they turn on Danny. This is mainly because Rowan went to him (not them) for advice, and Danny helped him sell the pub to one of his contacts and got a commission from the buyer.
    • Jim also briefly resents Rowan for selling the pub to someone from outside Cornwall and avoids going there for a time.
  • Jerkass: Troy, Danny's boss. He not only leaves Danny behind in the village and makes Danny sign up the Fisherman's Friends (which he had no real intention of doing) as a mean-spirited prank, but when Danny tries to convince him that the group has talent he refuses to listen. He even tries to sabotage Danny and the Fisherman's Friends attempts to get a record deal elsewhere after Danny quits working for him.
    • At first, Danny comes across as this — until he’s left in the village on his own.
    • Jim is this towards the guests at the wedding reception, insulting them and getting the group to sing bawdy songs.
    • Sometimes Jim and Alwyn act like this towards Danny, on account of his being from London.
    • Although not seen, it is indicated that the father of Alwyn's daughter is this, given that he left her to raise the kid on her own and does not show up when promised. Danny, by contrast, strikes up a rapport with the child while she's waiting for her father, and is sympathetic when she finally realises that he's not coming.
  • Liar Revealed: This trope is actually subverted twice.
    • After Danny makes a promise to the Fisherman’s Friends not to betray their trust, Troy tells Danny that it was a prank and that he never had any real intention of signing the group. Danny turns on his boss and stays true to his word and continues to help them get a record deal.
    • When Rowan, who is the pub owner as well as one of the Fisherman's Friends, comes to Danny for advice, he explains his financial troubles and that he needs to sell the pub. Danny helps him to sell the pub to one of his contacts. He never lies about it, but when the others learn that he got a commission from the buyer, they turn on him and force him out of the village. After returning to London, Danny — regretful of alienating them — decides to give back his commission and sells his own flat in order to buy back the pub.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The villagers including Jim and Alwyn drive Danny out of the village after discovering that Rowen came to him for advice/help to sell the pub due to his financial troubles. They seem to put all on the blame on him and overlook that it was Rowen who approached Danny and it was his decision to sell the pub, even if Danny got a commission from the buyer.
  • Missing Mom: Alwyn’s mother left Jim years earlier, this coupled with Alwyn’s Ex leaving her to raise their daughter alone is why the pair have trust issues.
  • My Local: The real-life Golden Lion pub in Port Isaac. Becomes a plot point when Rowan sells it to an out-of-towner who is implied to want to turn it into a holiday home. Danny, who helped him to do so, redeems himself in the eyes of the locals when he sells his London flat in order to buy it.
  • Opposites Attract: Danny (a cynical big-city music executive) and Alwyn (a small-town beauty and single mother).
  • Patriotic Fervor: Primarily exhibited by Jim, who is somewhat militant against people who aren't from Cornwall (meaning that Danny, a Londoner, has to work hard to gain his trust before he can sign the group), and at times is even antagonistic towards people who are from other parts of Cornwall. Most of the other locals are proudly Cornish but tend to judge people by their character rather than where they are from.
    • This is seen in a lesser case with Alwyn who is initially antagonistic towards Danny, although she later warms to him.
  • Put on the Bus: Danny and Alwyn are both absent in the sequel as they are on a trip to Australia
  • Running Gag: The cars parked on the sea front that get swamped by the incoming tide.
  • Same Plot Sequel: The sequel has the Fisherman’s Friends once again trying to convince a studio into a record deal, only this time it is for their second album which is dedicated to the deceased Jago.
  • Scenery Porn: Most of the movie was filmed in the beautiful Cornish village of Port Isaac and the surrounding countryside and coastline.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Danny finds out that Troy left him in Cornwall for a laugh and had no intention of signing the Fisherman's Friends (despite having ordered Danny to do so), he quits.
  • Second-Act Breakup: There is one between Danny and Alwyn when the other characters discover that Danny helped Rowen sell the pub to an out-of-towner. There is another one between Jim and Aubrey in the sequel.
  • Sequel: Fisherman's Friends: One and All started filming in 2021 and was released august 2022, focusing on the group coping with their new-found fame and singing at Glastonbury.
  • Sudden Lack of Signal: The only place Danny can get phone reception in the village is on the sea wall.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Alwyn, played by the lovely Tuppence Middleton, shows no interest in dressing up or wearing make-up; it's her natural beauty that catches Danny's eye.