The Full Monty is a touching and often hilarious comedy based in the once thriving Yorkshire steel town of Sheffield – The “City of Steel” which was all but destroyed by the effects of former British Prime Minister Thatcher’s regime.
The film opens with a newsreel from the mid-1970s when the city of Sheffield was a booming steel town, then cuts to present-day Sheffield where the factories have been closed down and the workers are now unemployed.
Gaz (Robert Carlyle) is separated and his wife has custody of their son, Nathan, and wants him Gaz to pay income support.
Gaz and his pals have been unable to recover from the devastating closure of the steel mills and they lead aimless existences until the sexy Chippendale dancers come to town and wow the local women with their bronzed buffed bodies and sinuous moves.
The amount of money raked in by the troupe inspires Gaz to create a group of dancers, one that promises to give their audience the “full monty” (to strip completely naked).
Gaz’s podgy mate Dave (Mark Addy) is the first to be enlisted, though Dave is miserably aware of his love handles and failing libido. The two friends are joined by their stuffy former mill supervisor Gerald (Tom Wilkinson). As his hobby is teaching amateur ballroom dance, he becomes the choreographer.
The three are soon joined by others – Horse (Paul Barber) has some good dance moves but is long in the tooth, Guy (Hugo Speer) is a plumber, while the depressive Lomper (Steve Huison) dances to keep from killing himself.
To pump themselves up, the group watches Flashdance (1983) several times.
The original working title for the film was Eggs, Beans, and Chippendales.