A Bunch of Amateurs (2008) Poster

A Bunch of Amateurs (2008)

  • Rate: 5.7/10 total 489 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Date: 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: UK:96 min
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A Bunch of Amateurs (2008)

A Bunch of Amateurs 2008tt1171226.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: A Bunch of Amateurs (2008)
  • Rate: 5.7/10 total 489 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Date: 2009 (USA)
  • Runtime: UK:96 min
  • Filming Location: Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
  • Gross: £91,156(UK)(21 December 2008)
  • Director: Andy Cadiff
  • Stars: Burt Reynolds, Alexandra Weaver and Elesia Marie
  • Original Music By: Christian Henson   
  • Plot Keyword: Self Deprecation | English | Shakespeare

Writing Credits By:

  • Nick Newman (screenplay) &
  • John Ross (screenplay) &
  • Ian Hislop (screenplay) &
  • Jonathan Gershfield (screenplay)

Known Trivia

  • The cast of ‘King Lear’ seen at the curtain call in the film actually performed two productions for charity, parts of which were filmed and used in the final cut. A number of stage actors cast for the charity production can be seen in the background as extras during certain scenes of the in-film performance and when the final bow is taken.
  • Burt Reynolds reportedly had significant difficulty learning his lines (especially the Shakespeare) throughout shooting. A number of the scenes from ‘King Lear’ needed idiot boards in the wings, though despite this, Reynolds was less than accurate much of the time. Imelda Staunton on more than one occasion made her frustration with this quite vocally known, and some of the lines used in the film differ quite greatly from the original play-scripts.
  • Throughout his career Burt Reynolds has made a number of movies that examine movie-making and this film is one of them. The pictures include Fade-In (location filming & westerns); Silent Movie and Nickelodeon (silent films); Best Friends (scriptwriting & Hollywood); Hooper (stuntwork and Hollywood); The Player (Hollywood); Boogie Nights (adult films); The Last Producer (producers and Hollywood); The Hollywood Sign and A Bunch of Amateurs (actors and Hollywood).
  • This film was selected for the Royal Film Performance of 2008. The lavish gala premiere launch was attended by HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
  • Burt Reynolds received top / first billing, Samantha Bond received second billing, Derek Jacobi received third billing, Imelda Staunton received fourth billing, Charles Durning received fifth billing. Some billing on movie posters and DVD covers outside of the credits list varies this.
  • The village of Stratford St. John in Suffolk where the amateur theatre production of ‘King Lear’ takes place is a fictional setting as no such place actually exists. Nor is there a place called Stratford in Suffolk. However, there is a real location in Suffolk named Stratford St. Mary.
  • Burt Reynolds had never done Shakespeare prior to making this movie.
  • Burt Reynolds has said that his favorite Shakespearian part is Iago in ‘Othello’.
  • As shown on the top of a letter, the address of Jefferson Steel’s Hollywood agent Charlie Rosenberg (Charles Durning) is given as 1453 Wanamaker Street, Los Angeles CA 90228 USA. This street name can be considered a reference to actor-director Sam Wanamaker who worked with Reynolds (who played Detective Lieutenant John Hawk) on episodes of TV’s Hawk as well as other TV work. Further, using Wanamaker’s name in this address also actually ties Reynolds together with Shakespeare, in that Wanamaker was the Founder of the International Globe Theatre Centre, the project that funded, researched, and built the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre that now operates on the Thames in Bankside, London, not far from where the actual remains of the Globe were found just after Wanamaker’s construction had broken ground. It was Wanamaker’s life’s passion to create a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe that would be a fully operational theatre, as well (although, after raising the funding from many fellow actors, directors and producers, and then bringing together the historians and experts to design it, he passed away in 1993, four years before its grand opening).
  • First major theatrically released movie for Burt Reynolds which was filmed in the UK since Rough Cut, a gap of about twenty-eight years.

Plot: A sleazy Hollywood agent tricks one of his clients, a faded action star, into playing King Lear in an amateur charity production in England. |  »

Story: A sleazy Hollywood agent tricks one of his clients, a faded action star, into playing King Lear in an amateur charity production in England.

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Steve Christian known as executive producer
  • Cleone Clarke known as associate producer
  • Jon Diamond known as executive producer
  • Joanna Gueritz known as line producer
  • David Parfitt known as producer
  • Marc Samuelson known as executive producer
  • Karl Sydow known as co-producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Burt Reynolds known as Jefferson Steel
  • Alexandra Weaver known as Girl on Motorbike
  • Elesia Marie known as 1st Cinema Girl (as Elesia Ennis)
  • Sarah Goldberg known as 2nd Cinema Girl
  • Glynis Brooks known as Woman In Street
  • Camilla Arfwedson known as Amanda Blacke
  • Michael Wildman known as Mr. Darcy
  • Guy Flanagan known as Box Office Guy
  • John Moraitis known as Man In Theatre
  • Pat Starr known as Woman In Theatre
  • Maisie Scott known as Young Amanda
  • Charles Durning known as Charlie Rosenberg
  • Pandora Colin known as Nadine
  • Lucy Akhurst known as Stewardess
  • Stephen Gressieux known as Italian Tourist (as Stefano Gressieux)
  • Terence Maynard known as London Journalist
  • Heidi Monsen known as 1st Airport Journalist
  • Dido Miles known as 2nd Airport Journalist
  • Samantha Bond known as Dorothy Nettle
  • Imelda Staunton known as Mary
  • Taz known as Monty
  • Lorraine Ashbourne known as Jane Jarvis
  • Gemma Lawrence known as Verity Nettle
  • Peter Gunn known as Frank Dobbins
  • Tony Jayawardena known as Kevin Patel
  • Alistair Petrie known as Rupert Twist
  • Derek Jacobi known as Nigel Dewberry
  • Kieran O'Quigley known as 1st Pub Journalist
  • Lawrence Sheldon known as 2nd Pub Journalist
  • John Lightbody known as Photographer
  • Peter Wight known as Mike Bell
  • Kelly Price known as Lauren
  • Surendra Kochar known as Kevin's Mum
  • Gabrielle Hamilton known as Marjorie
  • Charlotte Buttery known as Blonde Girl
  • Kirsty More known as School Girl
  • Tony Axup known as Mr. Matthews
  • Victoria Hamilton-Barritt known as Hollywood Studio Assistant
  • Rad Lazar known as Jan Kopye
  • Richard James known as Doctor
  • Sanjiv Hayre known as Cleric
  • Ty Davies known as Ty (uncredited)
  • Libby Hayter known as Patron (uncredited)
  • Silvia Lombardo known as Theatre employee (uncredited)
  • Leigh Stevenson known as Audience Member (uncredited)
  • Chris Wilson known as Villager (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:

  • Sharon Martin known as hair designer
  • Sharon Martin known as makeup designer
  • Jenna Smith known as hair trainee
  • Jenna Smith known as makeup trainee
  • Helen Speyer known as hair assistant
  • Helen Speyer known as makeup assistant
  • Sue Westwood known as hair assistant (as Su Westwood)
  • Sue Westwood known as makeup assistant (as Su Westwood)
  • Kelly Willis known as hair trainee
  • Kelly Willis known as makeup trainee

Art Department:

  • Gwyneth Binyon known as art department assistant
  • Jason Brown known as dressing props
  • Jonny George known as storyboard artist
  • Stuart Headley-Read known as stand-by props (as Stuart Read)
  • David Horrill known as property master (as David 'Springer' Horrill)
  • Warren Lever known as construction manager
  • Christopher Mansey known as carpenter
  • Kay Mitchell known as art department assistant
  • Sophia Stapleton known as stand-by art director
  • Graham Thomas known as construction manager: Isle of Man
  • Rajesh Westerberg known as scenic artist
  • Penny White known as dressing props
  • Peter Wood known as dressing props




Production Companies:

  • Isle of Man Film
  • CinemaNX
  • Limelight
  • Lipsync Productions
  • Trademark Films

Other Companies:

  • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies/mobiles
  • Fatts  post-production script services
  • Film Finances  completion guarantor
  • Fuji Photo Film  motion picture film supplied by
  • Gearbox Sound and Vision  additional ProTools systems supplied by
  • HireWorks  Avid equipment rental
  • Panalux  lighting by
  • Panavision UK  camera equipment provided by
  • The Casting Network  extras casting



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Lip Sync Post (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Chris Bentley known as digital lab operator
  • Alberto Buron known as digital lab operator
  • Luke Butler known as digital compositor: lipsync
  • Lee Clappison known as digital colourist
  • James Clarke known as DI supervisor
  • Stefan Drury known as head of visual effects
  • Kim Gordon known as digital compositor
  • Yanni Goudetsidis known as systems engineer
  • Jonathan Harris known as digital compositor
  • Lorea Hoye known as visual effects producer
  • Aileen McIntosh known as digital lab operator: Lipsync Post
  • Kevin Phelan known as head of post-production: Lip Sync Post
  • Kate Porter known as digital compositor
  • Nadia Probst known as assistant digital colorist
  • Angela Rose known as digital compositor
  • Wendy Seddon known as digital compositor
  • Jon Stanley known as senior systems engineer
  • Lucy Tanner known as visual effects coordinator
  • Daniel Tomlinson known as senior digital lab operator
  • Samantha Tracey known as visual effects coordinator
  • Sheila Wickens known as visual effects supervisor
  • Blake Winder known as digital compositor: LipSync Post

Release Date:

  • UK 17 November 2008 (Royal Command Film Performance)
  • Ireland 19 December 2008
  • UK 19 December 2008
  • USA 2009
  • Germany 6 February 2009 (European Film Market)
  • UK 6 April 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • New Zealand 18 June 2009



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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