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Vera Drake - Imelda Staunton, Phil Davis, Peter Wright, Mike Leigh

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Wife. Mother. Criminal.

Vera Drake (Imelda Staunton) is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She spends her days doting on them and caring for her sick neighbour and elderly mother. However, she also secretly visits women and helps them induce miscarriages for unwanted pregnancies. While the practice itself was illegal in 1950s England, Vera sees herself as simply helping women in need and always does so with a smile and kind words of encouragement. When the authorities finally find her out, Vera's world and family life rapidly unravel.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Vera Drake image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film UK 1950s abortion pregnancy miscarriage scandal criminal shame cleaning lady

Persons of interest

  • Imelda Staunton .... Vera
  • Richard Graham .... George
  • Eddie Marsan .... Reg
  • Anna Keaveney .... Nellie
  • Alex Kelly .... Ethel
  • Daniel Mays .... Sid
  • Philip Davis .... Stan
  • Lesley Manville .... Mrs Wells
  • Sally Hawkins .... Susan
  • Simon Chandler .... Mr Wells
  • Sam Troughton .... David
  • Marion Bailey .... Mrs Fowler
  • Adrian Scarborough .... Frank
  • Heather Craney .... Joyce
  • Mike Leigh .... Screenwriter
  • Mike Leigh .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Vera Drake is a quiet, slow-moving little English film about little English people leading little English lives, not so long after the end of the second World War. The characters are those little English people who held off the Nazi blitzkrieg ("We shall never surrender...") and overwhelmed the might of the Wermacht. These are the little English people who can fix anything with a nice cup of tea - and maybe a biscuit.

Imelda Staunton is marvellous, both as the doggedly cheery wife and mother and as the devastated, fallen woman. All the other actors feed themselves into the grist of her mill, supporting every shade, every height, every depth that she brings to the eponymous character. She's a class act. [Yes, we get the pun - Director of Intelligence.]

Whether or not you're in favour of abortion - and this is a great excuse to talk about it with your sons and daughters - you'll enjoy the tragic life of Vera Drake. Thank you Mike Leigh.

Security censorship classification

M (Adult theme)

Surveillance time

125 minutes (2:05 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 10 February 2005

Cinema surveillance images

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