Set in the tense, nihilistic urban landscape of early-Thatcherism, award-winning playwright Stephen Poliakoff's (Gideon's Daughter, The Lost Prince) original screenplay is concerned with the drama surrounding two eleven-year- old boys - the manipulative Leo and the manipulated Mike, who grow up amid conflict and violence in Southend-on-Sea. A prank to test the fallibility of the police goes badly wrong and Leo is stabbed. With the police hot on his heels, Mike immediately goes on the run.
Oscar-nominated, BAFTA-winning director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things) coaxes excellent performances from Richard Thomas and Peter Clark, who play the two juvenile leads Mike and Leo. Derrick O'Connor (Fox, Lethal Weapon 2) and Jack Douglas (Carry On, Shillingbury Tales) play the sorely tested policemen hot on their trail and Gary Holton (Auf Weidersehen Pet) plays a young punk who befriends Mike. The music, by composer George Fenton (Bergerac, Gandhi), was short-listed for a BAFTA.
Mute title sequences for the film under its original name – "One Joke Too Many"