Set in London’s sleazy criminal underworld, small-time ex-con George (Bob Hoskins) is reduced to chauffeuring beautiful, manipulative, West End call girl Simone (Cathy Tyson).
Michael Caine is perfectly sleazy as the vice-king Morwell, who employs George to drive Simone around to expensive hotels to visit her clients.
An unlikely relationship blossoms as George falls in love with his passenger, and together they search the grubby underworld for her young hooker friend Cathy (Kate Hardie).
George tracks Cathy down to a nearby church, and from there, he follows her as she is taken to Mortwell’s mansion by Anderson (Clarke Peters).
George breaks into the mansion and discovers a back room equipped with a two-way mirror and camera trained on a bedroom. In the room, an old man is having sex with Cathy.
George enters the room through a secret door and grabs Cathy; he then takes her to join up with Simone at Brighton.
George is now well out of his depth and discovers that Simone and Cathy are lovers, and whilst walking on the pier voicing his anger to Simone is confronted by Anderson and two henchmen seeking Cathy.
George and Simone evade their pursuers and return to their hotel room, only to find Mortwell waiting for them. Simone produces a gun and proceeds to shoot both Mortwell and Anderson.
With his romantic illusions shattered, George leaves the scene to rebuild his life with Thomas (Robbie Coltrane) and his daughter Jeannie (Zoe Nathenson).
The film was nominated for multiple awards, and Bob Hoskins was nominated for several awards for his performance (including the Academy Award for ‘Best Actor’), winning the Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama’ and BAFTA Award for ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’.
Mortwell’s strip club is actually the famous Raymond RevueBar in London’s Soho district. The giant prop hand Mortwell sits in was a famous element of the show, visible in a lot of promotional material for the club.
At one point, George walks past a poster for the “Festival of Erotica”, a real show at the RevueBar at the time.