Cass (2008) Poster

Cass (2008)

  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 2,215 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Crime | Drama
  • Release Date: 1 August 2008 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 108 min
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Cass (2008)

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  • IMDb page: Cass (2008)
  • Rate: 6.4/10 total 2,215 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Crime | Drama
  • Release Date: 1 August 2008 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 108 min
  • Filming Location: East London, London, England, UK
  • Budget: £1,000,000(estimated)
  • Director: Jon S. Baird
  • Stars: Nonso Anozie, Gavin Brocker and Leo Gregory
  • Original Music By: Matteo Scumaci   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Jamaican | Violence | Bullying | Funeral | Biracial

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Jon S. Baird  screenplay
  • Cass Pennant  book
  • Mike Ridley  book

Known Trivia

  • The extras in the fight scenes are people who were nearly exclusively those who are involved or were involved in the London underworld apart from certain stunt-men. after setting up the Leeds fight scene for most of the day the extras had had one too many beers got a little carried away and one of the stars got his head cut open with a punch. at that Cass and some others had to step in as to this day they work security at night clubs and are used to confrontations.
  • The film received a full blown (cast and crew) premier at Cineworld on Broad Street in Birmingham, UK. In order to accomplish this the cinema had to order a print of the film as they were not going to originally show it. Cineworld, Broad Street is itself the premier cinema outside of London in the UK. Other cinemas adjacent to Cineworld, Broad Street took note of this and ordered copies themselves, this had a dramatic effect on promoting the film. Accordingly the cinema run of Cass broke any and all expectations, pushing it to the very top of 18 rated movies that year in the British made film ratings.

Goofs: Errors in geography: When the two ladies are talking outside a house with Cass in the pram, the subtitle shows 'Slade Green, London 1958'. Slade Green is now in the London Borough of Bexley, but in 1958 would have been part of Kent as the current Greater London was not formed until 1965. Also, the house types don't exist and have never existed in the Slade Green area, neither does the blue railway footbridge. Slade Green would have in 1958 consisted of a couple of farms, a railway depot, some railway worker houses and some newer council houses.

Plot: An orphaned Jamaican baby is adopted by an elderly white couple and brought up in an all white area of London and becomes one of the most feared and respected men in Britain. Based on a true story. Full summary »  »

Story: An orphaned Jamaican baby, adopted by an elderly white couple and brought up in an all white area of London, became one of the most feared and respected men in Britain. CASS grew up in a time before political correctness and was forced to endure racist bullying on a daily basis, until one day when the years of pent up anger came out in a violent burst. CASS found through violence the respect he never had and became addicted to the buzz of fighting. His way of life finally caught up with him when an attempted assassination on his life, saw him shot three times at point blank range. His inner strength somehow managed to keep him alive but he was left with a dilemma; whether to seek vengeance as the street had taught him, or renounce his violent past.Written by Anonymous  

Synopsis

Synopsis: Dramatisation of the events surrounding the life of Cass Pennant; one of the best-known figures of the infamous West Ham hooligan outfit, the I.C.F. (Inter City Firm). Cass Pennant (Nonson Anozie, ATONEMENT) was placed in a Dr. Barnados orphange as a baby in 1950s London. A black child adopted by an elderly white couple, Cass was forced to endure constant racist bullying growing up. His pent-up rage exploded one day when he attended a West Ham game and becomes involved with Hammers hooligans as they take on a rival firm. Cass becomes hooked on the rush of the violence, as well as the acceptance and camaraderie. He quickly rises through the ranks of the West Ham hooligan element, later becoming head of the notorious Inter City Firm. As a six-foot-five black man in a predominantly white social group, he is picked out by the police during the government’s clampdown on football hooliganism. After brushes with the law, Cass attempts to change the direction of his life by running a security firm. But old enemies are never far away.CASS is a compelling film about the intriguing life of its subject and charts issues of class, race and masculinity across a number of decades, showcasing the seismic changes in British life. Nonson Anozie ably carries the film and is well supported by Nathalie Press (MY SUMMER OF LOVE) as his wife and Nick Love favourite Tammer Hassan (THE FOOTBALL FACTORY), among others.

 

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Jon S. Baird known as executive producer
  • Will Clarke known as executive producer
  • Stefan Haller known as producer
  • Adam Kulick known as executive producer
  • Alison Marlow known as associate producer
  • Cass Pennant known as co-producer
  • Berry van Zwieten known as co-producer
  • Berry van Zwieten known as line producer
  • Pierre Weisbein known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Nonso Anozie known as Cass
  • Gavin Brocker known as Prentice
  • Leo Gregory known as Freeman
  • Natalie Press known as Elaine
  • Paul Kaye known as C. P.
  • Bronson Webb known as The Assassin
  • Peter Wight known as Cecil
  • Tamer Hassan known as Ray
  • Carl Fairweather known as Martin
  • Linda Bassett known as Doll
  • Lorraine Stanley known as Linda
  • Azaria Omaboe known as baby George
  • Verelle Roberts known as Young Cass
  • Rory Jennings known as Young Freeman
  • Joe Siffleet known as Young West Ham Kid
  • David Lea known as Bingo (as Dave Lea)
  • Jayson Wheatley known as Young Prentice – 14 Years Old
  • Daniel Kaluuya known as Young Cass – age 14
  • Jamie Kenna known as Stevie Hogan
  • Johnny Palmiero known as Shaun the skinhead (as Johnny Palmeiro)
  • Robbie Gee known as Marlon
  • Mario Demetriou known as Greek Waiter
  • Lucy Russell known as TV Presenter
  • Jack Johnson known as Young Freeman
  • Gary Lawrence known as Delroy Jackson
  • Helen Anderson known as Detective
  • Ralph Ineson known as Sergeant Mullins
  • Gemma Dyllen known as Tracey (as Gemma Baker)
  • Geoffrey Beevers known as Vicar
  • Liam Smith known as Gaffer
  • Dan Renton Skinner known as Northern comic (as Renton Skinner)
  • Callum Ruane known as Young Prentice
  • Winston Ellis known as Zulu
  • Jack Bence known as Teenage Bully
  • Nick Bartlett known as Pub regular
  • Brandon Robinson known as Billy the Bully
  • Cass Pennant known as Bigs
  • Frank Bruno known as Frank
  • Sid Young known as Teenage Bully 2
  • Eddie Webber known as Prison guard Ron
  • Bill Gardner known as Harry the prisoner
  • Lee Turnbull known as Male Diner
  • Tiggy Allen known as Florist
  • Lucy Aylen known as Female diner
  • Bill Kelly known as Big T
  • Mick Robbins known as Prison guard
  • Sarah Finnegan known as Woman passer-by
  • Eilidh Bruce known as Child passer-by
  • Emmy Bruce known as Child passer-by
  • Jock known as Jock the Bulldog
  • Danny known as Taxi driver (as Danny QPR)
  • Joe Eagen known as Joe the Barman
  • Marcus Pennant known as Bullied prisoner
  • Georgina Pennant known as Office worker
  • Harry Davis known as Assassin's gang
  • Charlie French known as Assassin's gang
  • Mark French known as Assassin's gang
  • Kane Manera known as Greek chef
  • Che Conroy known as Mourner (uncredited)
  • Ricky Diamond known as Funeral Mourner (uncredited)
  • Yvette Rowland known as Psychiatrist (uncredited)

..

 

Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Lucy Doonan known as makeup artist
  • Hannah Edwards known as makeup artist
  • Cate Hall known as makeup designer
  • Pippa Woods known as makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Jo Berglund known as art department assistant
  • Stuart Headley-Read known as stand-by props (as Stuart Read)
  • Michael Povey known as property master
  • Mike Rawlings known as props
  • Amy Simons known as stand-by art director

..

 

Company

Production Companies:

  • Cass Films
  • Logie Pictures

Other Companies:

  • Fuji Photo Film  motion picture film supplied by
  • Goldcrest Post Production London  ADR Facility
  • Goldcrest Post Production New York  post-production
  • Panavision UK  camera equipment provided by

Distributors:

  • Independent Film Channel (IFC) (2009) (USA) (all media)
  • Eagle Entertainment (2009) (Australia) (DVD)
  • Future Film (2011) (Finland) (DVD)
  • New KSM (2010) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Optimum Releasing (2008) (UK) (all media)
  • Teleview International (2008) (Lebanon) (all media) (Middle East)

..

 

Other Stuff

Release Date:
  • UK 28 July 2008 (London) (premiere)
  • Ireland 1 August 2008
  • UK 1 August 2008
  • Germany 5 February 2009 (European Film Market)
  • Finland 6 April 2011 (DVD premiere)

..

 
 

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .

9 Comments

  1. gary-444 from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    As a contemporary of Pennant, and veteran of the 1970's and 1980'sterrace culture,I was keen for this film to succeed. Sadly, with somegood intentions, it fails, and joins the other flawed attempts torecreate the halcyon days of the hooligan. The authenticity of thebackground to the film is often well observed. But Director Jon Bairdfails to have the expertise, or I suspect the budget, to faithfullyrealise the period..

    Pennant's biography is well written, and a good read. It also coversover 40 years. A 108 minute screen running time, was always likely tobe crippled by compromise, vignette and crude symbolism, and so itturns out. His story does have dramatic potential and sociologicalsignificance but neither Baird nor Pennant have the discipline or know-how to deliver it.

    For lovers of football violence, there is not a lot of it. Three 20 aside rucks with Wolves, Leeds and Newcastle are the set pieces. For an18 Certificate the grizzly reality of these confrontations is prettysanitised giving succour to the dreamy, romantic retrospection that itwas just like minded boys fighting, and finding a sense of family inhooligan gangs.

    The key scene when one of Pennants lieutenants gets jumped by threeArsenal thugs and is slashed to ribbons needing 1000 stitches isstrangely understated .Its setting is grimly authentic, three againstone, the assailants armed, no chance of defence or escape for thevictim. Yet we see only the healed welts on the victims face some timelater, not the grim reality of a cowardly, bloody attack.

    As a child the casual racism and bullying which "Carol" suffers,alongside a complete lack of personal identity, is well observed.Bravely, time is also found for racism he suffers at the hands of ablack Rasta in jail. When his mother dies unexpectedly, his remorse atnot having told her how much he loved her is genuinely poignant. Sadlythough, these promising scenes are sketched in the same shorthand asthe violent ones , which is very frustrating.

    The "rucks" themselves are fleshed out with some ageing faces from thepast, Bill Gardener,Mark Chester from Stoke, and Gilly from Wolvesamongst them. It does not help the realism of the scenes to have timeworn middle aged men in amongst what was a pretty exclusively youngcrowd at the time. This sop to some old boys to enable them to relivetheir youth is pretty risible. Equally Pennant himself appearsuncredited as a bouncer alongside Frank Bruno, also uncredited.WestHam's North Bank and Chicken Run are not mentioned once, the South Bankgets two unreferenced name checks.

    One of the best moments in the book is when Pennant steps in to save arandom black kid from getting a beating from some racist skinheads –only to discover that he has saved Frank Bruno! Pennants closesubsequent links with the boxing fraternity are only dealt with inshort hand in the film and his chance meeting with a similarlyincarcerated Ambrose Mendy left out all together, as is, inexplicably,his "saving" of Bruno.

    Virtual unknown Nonso Anozeo, successfully carries off the role of theadult Pennant.Tamer Hassan plays a convincing cameo as boxer Ray..Otherwise the ensemble provides background only to the main events.However the fundamental rush of football hooliganism, the massedclashes of sometimes several thousand protagonists is missing. Asothers have found ,it is very difficult to recreate with so many of theold grounds gone. What grounds and stands do remain are out of boundsto "hoolie" film makers from clubs eager to protect their sanitisedreputation.

    The hackneyed use of Thatcherite film clips as she pronounces on asubject she knows nothing about is cheap and adds nothing. Amusingly,shots of the infamous Millwall riot at Luton are shown twice, butMillwall, the ICF's great rivals are not mentioned once.

    As a stand alone bio pic this is poor. Pennant is no Mandela. If youwere there, there is enough to keep your interest but not enough to winyour praise. In aiming to be more than a "hoolie film", this bio pictries to achieve much, but ultimately falls victim to its own overambition and vanity.

  2. freshchris from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    This film was of a real interest to me as it was produced by the sameproducer as Green Street, and having watched it I feel more informed,if a little frustrated.

    The film centres around the character of Cass Pennant, a real lifehooligan and 80's icon for hooliganism. Adopted into a white family, inan age of racism and violence, Cass finds his natural environment inthe place where you would have thought he would be the biggest victim.

    The script is based on Cass Pennants book 'Cass', and you can't helpbut feel it was copied and pasted from novel to script. The mainproblem is that this could have been one of the best football thugfilms if they had managed to get decent actors. Not that they don't doa good job, its just not great. Nonso Anozie is pretty good as the maincharacter Cass, its interesting to see a generally soft naturedcharacter flip out now and again in a hooligan film instead of thetypical hot-headed cockney. The rest of the cast however don't supporthim very well, and it seems as though they are forcing the drama ratherthan acting in a biopic.

    Overall though, its an interesting insight into a real character inhooliganism, how he ended up, and kept going back, in the hooligan'business'. If you are looking for another rise of the foot-soldier ora football factory type film, then this may not be for you.

  3. davideo-2 from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

    A film highlighting the true story of Cass Pennant (Nonso Anozie) ababy born to a Jamaican mother who was raised by a white working classcouple who's doorstep he landed on. The film charts his youth gettinghis first taste of football violence in it's heyday of the early 70s,through to a decade later when he was leading London's top firm The ICF(Inter City Firm) into battle, which ended up getting him a lengthyspell in jail. He came out and tried to turn his life around, gettinginto the nightclub doorman business, but his past caught up with himand after an attempt on his life, he turned his back on his old lifefor good, and is now respected as a renowned author.

    After the true life story of Carlton Leach was documented in the woefulmisfire Rise of the Foot Soldier, Cass arrives trying to do the samething with (black) ICF leader Pennant. "The Football Factory meets Thisis England" a praise caption (for want of better phrasing) proclaimedwhen I first saw the poster for this. Okay, already I was thinking 80sBritain, Thatcher, hooliganism, a bit grim. I wasn't disappointed inthis respect, but in others Cass did disappoint me quite badly.

    For a film that's ended up on the big screen, the film looks remarkablycheap, like it's more suited as a TV film than here. Up until the end,for some reason director Jon S Baird has shot his film in a grainy,blurry style that you can't help but notice. Maybe this was to helpgive off a feel of how bleak and grim life in England during the 70sand 80s was, but it didn't come off as too subtle with me. The use ofstock footage from old news reels showing the football violence alsodidn't help in this respect. But aside from this, the film goes togreat pains to dramatize Cass's life story veering away from anyexciting football action, but rather than involve us in the end thefilm has come off more as dull and boring unfortunately.

    The film benefits from an undeniably fine lead performance from Anozieas the titular character, an articulate thug with a lot of pent upanger in him but who also has an intelligent side that comes to be hisguiding light. He does try and justify his actions at points by blamingthem on Thatcher, as when talking about his clashes with police atgames, saying 'they were her army versus ours' without realizing nomatter heavy handed they might have been, they were trying to stopviolence rather than cause it. Nathalie Press as the girl who becomeshis wife tries hard but her voice is rather annoying and grating andthis put me off a bit. Leo Gregory, who was also in Green Street, isgood in a supporting role as Cass's mate. Tamer Hassan does his usualglaring, quietly menacing hardman act and Dennis Pennis himself PaulKaye also does well as the man behind Cass's shooting. Performanceswise, there's really nothing wrong with the film, it's in other areasit lets itself down.

    The distributors picked a stupid time to release it, as it reallydidn't stand a chance at this time of year, up against bigger filmslike The Dark Knight, the new X-Files film and The Love Guru. Iremember seeing a little feature on it on the news, which now makes methink it was just desperate for any publicity it could get. It hadabout one showing time when I went to see it, but the theatre waspacked and it seems to have had a stay of execution for this week too,so maybe it'll do better than it seemed.

    It's not awful by any means, with some strong performances and aninteresting story, that sadly came off as dull rather than how itshould have. **

  4. intelearts from the big screen
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    Sure Cass is about hooliganism and has enough of that to fit the bill,but this is good enough to be mainstream viewing.

    We found it much better than we expected: good central performances anda great arc lift this from its genre to something better.

    It really looks and sounds (the language is what is was, every secondword is filth, but then it was) like the British East End 80s down tothe council flat doors.

    I can honestly recommend this a good well-made film about life inBritain in the early 80s, it is a little light on production anddirecting values, it is shot too simplistically, but the story is welldelivered, it is probably not for your granny (unless she's a hardnut), but deserves a wider audience than just 20 year old males with afootie hard on.

  5. scottydewhurst from Manchester, England
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    I enjoyed this film just enough to watch the whole 90 minutes, but itfelt like i had already seen a dozen movies like this – footballfactory, green street, rise of the footsoldier, the firm (2009version). it was a film that left me feeling unsatisfied for somereason, i cannot explain.

    The story is simple – A black baby raised by a white couple, who growsup in London. He grows up in very racist times and as he gets older heearns his respect by fighting rival fans at football games(he is a WestHam fan). This is the third football film in the last 3 years thatrevolves around West Ham united, (Green Street and Rise of the footsoldier) which is pretty tiring, as it makes you wish that the maincharacter supported another dam team for once! Now one thing i willgive this film credit for is the acting. you get a pretty goodperformance from Nonso Anozie and Leo Gregory, who you will notice fromgreen street. Tamer Hassan also has a bit of screen time who you willrecognise from the football factory and he does his tough man actpretty well.

    And thats basically it…… a football hooligan, no other story apartfrom the obvious confrontations that brings his way. He meets a womensettles down and end of story. I'll admit that i felt cheated by thisfilm, i thought there would be a better story….but never mind.

    If you are a huge fan of these hooligan films then by all means youwill love it, but if like me, you are getting bored of these type offilms then stay away

    By Scott Dewhurst

  6. JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    This is the film adaptation of how one Carol "Cass" Pennant rose frombeing an orphaned black boy, adopted by a white middle aged couple, tobeing a leader of the notorious football hooligan firm, The ICF.

    You know what's funny? That one of the most well known names in theworld of British Football Hooliganism is the last in the line offootball violence related medium's. Had this film, and Cass' book beenten years ago, it surely would have had a greater impact. Going back towhen the Brimson Brothers decided to write about a topic nobody butthose involved understood in the mid 90s {source Everywhere We Go},there has been books galore from what seems almost every footie hooliemob going. Throw in all the film's and documentaries that have found adistributor since Gary Oldman starrer, The Firm 1988 {ID, FootballFactory, Green Street and The Rise Of A Footsoldier etc}, well it's apretty exhausted subject. So much so, that it's only really those of acertain age, and of an inclination to the topic, that can get much outof what essentially feels like a belated cash in.

    In Cass' favour is that Pennant does have an interesting back storyfrom which to launch from. His upbringing, and early struggles withracism is nicely dealt with. It put me in mind with Caroline Gall'sbook about hooligan outfit Zulu Warriors, where the black and white mixof races became united at football matches {see what I mean about thisfilm trailing in others wake's}. So it be with Cass, it does have a bitof heart to go with its obvious shouty muscle. But here in lies anotherproblem with the film, where does it want to go? What is it asking ortelling us? Is Cass conflicted emotionally? Or is he merely using histroubled youth as an excuse for pounding some poor Newcastle fans headin? Pertinent questions that aren't properly answered I feel. There's anice sequence with Cass in prison, as his racial standing is calledinto question by a patois spouting convict, but outside of that thefilm flits between being about a troubled man to an all punching thug.Something that, as I mentioned earlier, is pretty much old hat now guv.

    Nonso Anozie does good work as Pennant, and Natalie Press continues tobe effective in these type of roles {see Fifty Dead Men Walking}, whilethe underused Tamer Hassan asserts his scenes in another typecast role.I personally enjoyed the film because I can see that those involvedthought a good film could be made about the matters at hand, but I'mafraid that anyone hoping for something fresh are in for one big letdown. 6/10

  7. devinejames1967 from West Lothian, Scotland
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    I thought after reading some of the bad comments on this film that Ishould leave a comment. The film seems to capture 80's England and Ithought it gripping and flowed at a good pace to keep my interest tothe very end – (my wife says I nearly always fall asleep before the endof a film). I watched this DVD with my 18yr old daughter who alsoenjoyed it as good entertainment and a brief historic view to whatfootball hooligans were like, she had no idea this happened back then.I also agree the use of news footage from the time only adds to howgenuine this film feels. Nice to see ex West Ham and Celtic strikergetting a very small part in the pub in Newcastle.

  8. Matthew Skibicki from Australia
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    I watched this film unwillingly with some friends thinking it was someviolent-glorification of ugly, football hooligans Looking back, I wouldhave preferred this much more than what the film actually was – a lame2 hour drama which had to be endured rather than enjoyed.

    I felt so disengaged throughout the whole movie – possibly because ofhow amateur and unoriginal the film looked and felt. Its ambitiousattempts to be dramatic and truthful failed miserably.

    The script does have a strong moral center about racism, being anoutcast, belonging and family. Unfortunately these story elements arelost in a badly executed production.

  9. Angelus2 from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 9:47 pm

    An elderly white couple, adopt a child from Jamaica and raise him upduring the 70's…I chronicles his life from being racially attacked…to actually attacking people for his beloved football team.

    The character of Cass is a man who blindingly loves his country andmust face prosecution from others and constantly told he does notbelong…I loved his rise, and the respect he accumulates from people.

    I found the prison part to be very fascinating as another JamiacanBritish cell mate tells him about why he should care for his roots, andCass's place in the world.

    The fight scenes were brilliantly shot and show Great Britain's hardmen…We are not all like Hugh Grant..LOL..

    A good solid film with a great cast of actors..

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