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Calendar girls - Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, John Alderton, Nigel Cole

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

They dropped everything for a good cause.

The story of a group of women belonging to the Rylstone Women's Institute in North Yorkshire. This cancer charity has long sponsored a calendar. Their original calendars showed lovely scenes of the Yorkshire dales, but in 1999, after one of their husbands became ill with leukaemia, the women came up with a more commercial concept: discreet photos of these bare Women's Institute lasses. Their calendar became a worldwide sensation, outselling even Britney Spears and Cindy Crawford.

Based on a true story.

Persons of interest

  • Helen Mirren .... Chris
  • Julie Walters .... Annie
  • John Alderton .... John
  • Linda Bassett .... Cora
  • Annette Crosbie .... Jessie
  • Philip Glenister .... Lawrence
  • Ciarán Hinds .... Rod
  • Celia Imrie .... Celia
  • Geraldine James .... Marie
  • Penelope Wilton .... Ruth
  • George Costigan .... Eddie
  • Graham Crowden .... Richard
  • John Fortune .... Frank
  • Georgie Glen .... Kathy
  • Angela Curran .... May Tim Firth .... Screenwriter
  • Juliette Towhidi .... Screenwriter
  • Nigel Cole .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Fun for grown-ups, especially the over-50s. Includes baking of cakes, preserving of fruit and pickling of vegetables. Oh, and gardening. Calendar girls is for the hard-core scone bakers and their friends.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound
  • Disc: Single side, dual layer
  • Languages: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Picture: Widescreen (2.35:1)
  • Special features:
    • Deleted scenes
    • Featurettes:
      • Creating the calendar
      • The naked truth
  • Subtitles: Danish, Dutch, English, English captions, English closed captions, Estonian, French, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish

Security censorship classification

PG (Adult themes, nudity, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

108 minutes (1:48 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 9 October 2003
DVD rental: 7 April 2004
VHS rental: 7 April 2004
DVD retail: 15 September 2004

Cinema surveillance images

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Interesting facts
  • The calendar has now raised £578,000 for the Leukaemia Research Fund and leukaemia charities.
  • When the original calendar was published the story hit the headlines and spread through Yorkshire, down to London and even across the Atlantic to Hollywood. The calendar was a huge story in all the British media, across Europe and in the USA where stories ran on the front page of the New York Times and on CBS's 60 minutes, The Today Show, 20/20 and in People Magazine among others. The calendar was such a success that by early 2002 it had sold nearly 300,000 copies worldwide, raising nearly £500,000 for leukaemia charities. It also turned the women into national and international celebrities.
  • The first edition of the calendar was published and distributed by the calendar girls themselves with only the assistance of a local brewery. The UK edition went on to sell 88,000 copies. This figure was totally beyond the calendar girls wildest dreams - the calendar girls had originally ordered a very modest print run of only 1000 copies only to be told by the printer that the minimum print-run would need to be 3000 copies. The calendar girls worried that they would seriously lose money on the venture!
  • When the calendar was published in the USA in 2000, the Women's Institute ladies of Rylstone, North Yorkshire were the top calendar girls that Christmas.
  • The calendar charted at number 2 in the USA bookshops' calendar chart, only below Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone.
  • The calendar sold 88,000 copies in the UK, but nearly 200,000 in the USA.
  • In the USA the calendar out-sold the Britney Spears calendar, the Cindy Crawford calendar and also the celebrated Sports Illustrated Swimsuit calendar.

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