Blackball (2002)

Torquay, the ‘English Riviera’. In this sleepy seaside town, Lawn Bowls – the game generally reserved for the retired and those enjoying their twilight years – is taken VERY seriously. None more so than by long-reigning county champion, Ray Speight - a legendary player and strict enforcer of his beloved club’s arcane rule book…but now his title is threatened as a young pretender raises his unkempt and irreverent head.

Cliff Starkey, a layabout decorator and loveable rogue from the wrong side of town with a natural genius for bowls takes on the local bowling establishment…and wins. Incurring the wrath of Ray Speight along the way, Cliff soon becomes a local celebrity. A slick American sports agent takes this ‘bad boy’ of bowls under his wing and Cliff is hailed as the sport’s new saviour as he drags bowls into the 21st century. Cliff soon attracts an army of screaming female fans but in an ironic twist finds himself falling in love with Kerry, daughter of his arch nemesis, Ray.

Cliff’s talent finally officially recognised; he is picked to play for England in the World Championships. But he can’t face the mighty Australian Champions alone and in an unexpected turn of events Cliff finds himself paired with the only other player capable of competing at such a level, Ray Speight. Together they must put aside their differences, joining forces for the good of the game they both love and with the hopes of a nation behind them.
producers:
James Gay Rees
director(s):
Mel Smith
cast:
Paul Kaye, Johnny Vegas, Bernard Cribbins, Vince Vaughn, James Cromwell, Alice Evans
photography:
November 2002

More information on IMDB (external link)

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