Nick Love’s remake of The Firm revives football fashion from the 80s

Ollie Irish

5th, June 2009


1 THE NEW FIRM web crop front page.JPG
Simon Cowell’s new boy band intimidated Westlife
Sergio Tacchini, Adidas, Fila, Ellesse, Diadora… brand names to bring tears of nostalgia to the eyes of football casuals in the Eighties. (A lot of hooligans were also casuals, but it’s worth pointing out that many casuals had no interest at all in “top boys” and their firms.)
The above photo is a still to promote Nick Love’s remake of The Firm. If you haven’t seen the original TV film, directed by Alan Clarke and first aired on the BBC in 1988, you should: it remains one of the best films about the subject of hooliganism, although the competition is not great (ID and The Football Factory were average at best).

I’m sure Nick Love, who also directed The Football Factory, will do a decent enough job getting the period details right. He’s enlisted the help of to source the cast’s wardrobe, so you can expect lots of Tacchini and Fila, and at least one pair of Adidas Forest Hills.
I remember that the original film didn’t really feature the fashion of casuals, which anyway was more prominent in the north of England. Instead it relied almost entirely on the overwhelming charisma of Gary Oldman, who plays Bex, the unhinged top boy of the fictional Inter-City Crew – Bex’s firm was based on West Ham’s infamous - and very real – Inter-City Firm. Bex and his crew tended to dress more like Yuppies, or the low-rent equivalent: estate agents.
Here’s a taste of the original:

Did you spot Phil Mitchell?
Bex pays a visit:

Terrific acting from Oldman and Lesley Manville:

One of The Firm‘s most memorable scenes: