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Film / Pride (2014)

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It's the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem: the Union seems embarrassed to receive their support.
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But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go directly to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. Many a Heartwarming and Funny Moment ensue.

Pride is a 2014 British film based on the historical Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign in 1984–1985. It stars an ensemble cast that includes Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Andrew Scott, George MacKay, Joseph Gilgun, and Ben Schnetzer.


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This film provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: One of Maureen's homophobic sons laughs when Hefina snarks at another driver while driving the bus that LGSM donated to the village.
  • Always Camp: Jonathan and Jeff.
  • Audience Surrogate: Joe was not a real person, but was made up to serve in this role.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "Whatever happened to Gay-Lib?"
    • When Gethin explains how his religious mother couldn't accept him, Hefina softens his bitterness as such:
    Gethin: She hasn't said one word to me in 16 years.
    Hefina: What about you? What words have you said to her?
  • Armor-Piercing Response: At one point, Maureen privately states her late husband would never have stood for being supported by gays and lesbians. When she does succeed in blocking support from LGSM, her brother-in-law, Cliff, manages to stop her in her tracks with:
    Cliff: If you think my brother would have stood for this, you're wrong!
  • Badass Grandpa: Cliff, who stands up to Maureen after she succeeds in blocking support from LGSM - and also sasses the police on the picket line. Also doubles as Badass Gay.
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  • The Beard: At one point Steph offers to be this for Joe, in order to spend Christmas with him, as well as explain where he's going all the time.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The miners would eventually be defeated by Thatcher's Conservative government, but the relationship between LGSM and the Dulais miners in the strike result in solidarity between the miners and the gay community, who were just as pushed around by that government, leading to the Labour Party enshrining gay and lesbian rights in its manifesto, thanks to the unanimous support of the NUM. Mark Ashton dies of AIDS aged 26 - but Jonathan, HIV-positive, is still alive and healthy as of 2019. Sian James later goes onto university and is elected the first female MP for Swansea East.
  • Blatant Lies: Maureen claims that she has no personal problem with LGSM's sexuality. Her delivery (and her later comments) prove this false.
  • But Not Too Gay: One of the LGSM group suggests they try to tone it down so as not to shock the mining town's residents too much at first. Jonathan acidly responds that it's been a while since he spoke Fifties.
  • Book-Ends: Begins and ends with the London Gay Pride Parade.
  • Call-Back: When they head to Dulais, Joe tells LGSM the cover story he's using to explain his absence to his parents, and they chant "Bromley! Bromley! Bromley!" They do it again near the end of the film, when he asserts that his name is actually Joe.
  • Camp Gay: Most of LGSM is unabashedly out and proud, but Jonathan plays this to the max.
  • The Cavalry: At the huge pride demo at the end of the film it looks like the LGSM have to either march without their banners or at the very back. But then their miner friends show up in the bus they raised funds for, which raises their spirits, if nothing else. But then whole busloads of miners from mining towns all over show up and they all get to march proudly at the front of the pride parade.
  • Cast Calculus: The LGSM (Five-Man Band with a Sixth Ranger).
  • Cast Full of Gay: The LGSM comprise half of the protagonists.
  • Chummy Commies: In Mark's first scene a Communist flag can be seen in his flat, and later on another character makes a disparaging remark is made at him regarding his supposed Communism. This is however also the basis for his desire for solidarity. The real Mark Ashton was in fact a member of the Communist Party, although this was apparently downplayed in order to avoid alienating US audiences.
    • It goes unmentioned but almost all of the LGSM characters were some kind of Marxist, whether they be Trotskyists, or members of the CPGB, or just people on the extreme left of the Labour Party.
  • Coming-Out Story: Part of the film deals with Joe's accepting his sexuality and dealing with The Reveal to his parents.
  • Composite Character: Gethin, Jonathan’s boyfriend, was a real person, but in real life Jonathan’s boyfriend was and is another man named Nigel Young.
  • Crowd Song: "Bread and Roses"
  • Decomposite Character: Joe is fictional. In real life, the "official photographer" for LGSM was actually Jeff.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The following exchange:
    Gail: So you live together like husband and wife, but what I want to know is—
    Ray: I know what you're going to say.
    Gail: Which one does the housework?
    Ray: Oh, okay, that's not what I thought you was going to say.
  • Discriminate and Switch: The Hosting Committee is fine with the lesbians and gays, but not with someone (Gethin) from North Wales! They're joking.
  • Double Standard: It's referred to several times that there's a different age of consent for gays and straights. With Joe counting as a Minor by law.
    Steph: You're illegal, darling. Sixteen for the breeders. 21 for the gays. Did you learn nothing on that march?
    Joe: Jesus!
    Steph: Victory to the minors.
    • Truth in Television - the age of consent for male homosexual acts was only lowered to 18 in 1994 and finally lowered to 16 (to reflect heterosexual age of consent) in 2000.
  • Drag Queen: Only briefly shown in the film in two gay club scenes, but Jonathan is stated to do this often.
  • Dramatization: In a really interesting case, much of the conflict between the Miners and LGSM is fabricated for the movie. There wouldn't be nearly as much plot to the movie if things went as well as it did in real life, though.
  • Easily Forgiven: Mark severs ties with the rest of the group after his Heroic BSoD He reconciles with them near the end, but neither explains his reasons nor explicitly says that he's sorry. Then again, they are a Family of Choice.
  • Family of Choice: LGSM serve as this for each other.
  • Everybody Smokes: Given the time period and the working-class characters, pretty much Truth in Television.
  • Flying Under the Gaydar: Ray and Reggie suggest that the group do this to fit in better with the miners, an idea that is shot down by Jonathan.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Mark's initial inspiration for LGSM comes from seeing the miners facing the same sort of police harassment the gay community usually experiences.
  • Fish out of Water: A group of openly gay young men and women in an obnoxiously colored minibus arrive in a staid Welsh mining town.
    • Joe, in the Pride March in the beginning.
    • Dai, in the gay bar.
    • Averted with the women who travel from Dulais to help with Pits and Perverts. They dance up a storm in a number of gay bars and mix freely with the regulars.
  • Foreshadowing: When Dai says that LGSM are the first gay and lesbians that he has ever met, Mark points out that they are only the first that he knows of. Later it's revealed that his old friend Cliff is gay.
    • It's established that LGSM members are not to go out collecting alone. Gethin later does, pissed off about the union's vote to cut ties, and gets severely gay bashed as a result.
    • Mark's confrontation with HIV in his former lover and resulting HIV scare and Heroic BSoD foreshadows real life Mark Ashton's death by AIDS in 1987, only a few years after the events of the film.
  • Friend to All Children: Jeff becomes very popular with the village children, letting them braid and play with his hair and giving them Christmas presents. Sian's daughter even seems to develop a bit of a crush on him, and asks Joe to give Jeff a drawing she's done of him (with 'I LOVE JEFF' written at the top).
  • Go Through Me: Seen when the miners are on the picket line facing off against the police.
    Cliff: If you wanna start something, start it with me!
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Jeff and Joe.
  • Hate Sink: Maureen, Maureen, Maureen.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster??: Joe's parents attempt this late in the movie feeling that he is simply making a bad life choice.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: One of the union leaders, as well as the paper that mocks and attacks the LGSM.
  • Heroic BSoD: Mark suffers one after the Union National votes to no longer accept donations from LGSM and he finds out one of his former lovers has been diagnosed with AIDS.
  • Historical In-Joke: Mark writes the number for the London Gay Switchboard in the lobby of a music label—right under posters for Elton John and Soft Cell, future out gay musicians.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Ray was already drinking, but he starts chugging his beer when Jonathan starts dancing on the table.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Lampshaded between Steph and Joe, "If we were normal, this is where we would kiss."
  • Jerkass: Maureen is blatantly homophobic, as well as her two sons, although the youngest appears to change his tune towards the end.
  • Karma Houdini: Maureen isn't shown to suffer any comeuppance for her sabotage of LGSM. However, given that she is suspected to have informed the press about LGSM (making her an informer, which in union terms is only slightly less heinous than being a scab) and she is known to have cut off the funding from LGSM (a lucrative source of support for the miners and their families, who are literally being starved by Thatcher), she has pretty much committed social suicide and will likely face ostracism from the rest of the village.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: One of the women, Jaqui, (drunkenly) rants to Steph and reveals that she believes sex is only for men’s pleasure. Steph assures her that sex is for the women too.
  • Mama Bear: Both Hefina and Sian welcome LGSM from the beginning and hotly defend them to the village, and Sian scolds Joe's mother for her homophobia. Also Sian when she charges into the police station, demanding that they let Lee and Carl go.
  • Mood Whiplash: While this is a mostly feel-good movie, it does have its fair share of emotional moments.
    • The biggest and most notable example probably comes when the scene instantly shifts from the Welsh women laughing over some gay porn they've found to Joe returning home only to discover his mother weeping and his father furious and realises that he's been outed.
  • Never Bareheaded: Mike is never seen without his Nice Hat.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Cliff is almost able to convince Maureen to drop her homophobia and come over to meet the LGSM members. Then another member of the town walks by and yells at Maureen to "get the stick out of your ass" causing her to slam the door on Cliff and call a right-wing newspaper with the story about LGSM supporting the miners
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: ...But Mark is quick to use the resulting publicity to promote LGSM and hold a massive fund-raiser.
  • No Bisexuals: The equality movement had yet to include bi, transgender, or intersex, under its umbrella, hence only "Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners". It is set in 1984, when trans and bi people were generally ignored even by the gay community, to say nothing of intersex people.
  • Nobody Over 50 Is Gay: Averted with Cliff and highlighted in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
    • Jonathan and Gethin are aversions of "Nobody Over 30 is Gay".
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Occurs a few times as the miners adjust to having LGSM in their midst.
  • One-Word Title: Pride.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Rarely is Joe called anything but "Bromley," and one has to pay attention to find out that his full name is Joe Cooper.
  • Performance Artist: Jonathan.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Joe and Steph are very close by the end of the movie.
  • Precision F-Strike: Cliff explains what the coal pits mean to mining communities. This is how he finishes it:
    "That's what I'd say if I ever came face to face with Margaret fucking Thatcher."
  • Pride Parade: The film begins and ends with them.
  • Police are Useless: Worse than useless, the police have become totally hostile to the Miners. One of the key moments for LGSM in breaking the ice the Miners was their experience with Police persecution providing the Miners valuable information on due process law, which gets several younger Miners out of jail.
    Jonathan: Police harassment, dear. I could set it to music. It's the same whether you're marching on a picket line or trolling down Clapham High Street in full drag.
  • Reality Ensues: Joe spends an increasing amount of time working with LGSM, to the point of skipping classes. He is flunked out for it.
    • Early on it's established that the rule is no one is to go out collecting for LGSM alone. We find out there's a very good reason for this when Gethin does go out alone, gets brutally attacked in a gay-bashing, and ends up in hospital.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Dai is surprised when he discovers that LGSM are a group of gays and lesbians, but he happily accepts their help. The rest of the Dulais Valley Strike Committee backs him on this... well, except Maureen.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Inverted with Gethin and Jonathan, played straight with Sian and her husband.
  • Scenery Porn: There are some beautiful shots of the Welsh countryside, shown when the group travels to and from the village.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Russell Tovey only has one brief scene, but his talk with Mark helps cause Mark's Heroic BSoD
  • Straight Gay: Gethin, Joe (to a lesser degree), and Cliff.
  • The Man: The Union and the gay community's common enemy.
  • Those Two Guys: Mark Ashdon and Mike Jackson are the two driving forces of LGSM. Every major decision the group make starts with Mark and Mike is the person who is in charge of actually running the group day to day.
  • Title Drop: An overwrought Mark telling one of the other LGSM members to "have some fucking pride" towards the end of the film.
  • Token Lesbian: Steph describes herself as this early on when she is the only lesbian in the group. However, they get two more lesbians after a Rousing Speech in a gay bar.
  • The Twink: Jeff and Joe.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: With every activist group comes dissenting A-type personalities. Although Mark usually gets the final say in what LGSM does, there are moments of disagreement within the group.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The final sequence includes titles explaining the fates of the real life people that some of the characters were based off.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: LGSM take Dai, who is visibly out of his element, to one on his first visit to London. Later on the Union women (and a few of the men) visit a number of them while in town for the benefit concert and fare much better.
  • You Gotta Have Orange Hair: Steph.

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