Norwich director’s movie named as most underrated film ever

A Norwich film director has spoken of his delight after his debut movie was named by a national newspaper as number one in a list of the 50 most underrated films of all time.

Richard Bracewell said he was 'bowled over' after his film The Gigolos topped the list in the Daily Telegraph.

Film critic Mike McCahill, who compiled the list, wrote: 'It took two years to reach British cinemas, two more to reach DVD, but Richard Bracewell's comedy-drama has slowly emerged as among the most assured recent British debuts.

'An unexpectedly funny and touching tale of a Mayfair escort and his clueless pimp, it boasts a superlative cast, including Susannah York, Si�n Phillips and Anna Massey.'

Mr Bracewell, 40, made the film in 2005 for a budget of �250,000, casting unknown actors Trevor Sather and Sacha Tarter again the acclaimed actresses.

The film received a premiere at Norwich Odeon in Spring 2007 and had a limited cinema release. It came out on DVD in February 2009 and received a late-night screening on BBC1 in July last year.

Mr Bracewell, who lives off Pottergate, said: 'I'm over the moon; really bowled over. What I'm most pleased about is that it shows quality will out.

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'If you tell a story and believe in it, there are people out there who want to hear it and who don't necessarily want to watch the same Hollywood movies.

'We had the courage of our convictions. We knew it was going to work. It's probably more of an undiscovered film than an underrated one because we got some very positive reviews from most of the critics who saw it when it came out.'

Mr Bracewell's second feature film, a psychological thriller called Cuckoo starring Richard E Grant and Tamsin Greig, was filmed mainly in Great Yarmouth and Norwich during the autumn and winter of 2007/2008. It is due to finally get its cinema release in early December.

'We hope people will be inspired to go and see it because we don't want Cuckoo to be on a list of undiscovered, underrated films in a few years' time,' he said.

His brother Tony, 39, the film's associate producer, said he had only learned of The Gigolos' inclusion in the list via Twitter at 12.30am on Saturday.

'I'm delighted. I'm hoping it will lead to an upsurge in interest. It couldn't be better timed because Cuckoo will be released in about six weeks' time,' he said.

'The Gigolos really stands the test of time. You would expect it to show its age and to see where the joins are and where it needs a new lick of paint, but we realise we did make a great film.

'It was surprising and different. People didn't know what they were going to get and we cast two unknown actors against these grand dames of British stage and screeen.

'Distributors told us we would get nowhere with it, and the thing I'm proud of is we defied the odds. It just shows what you can achieve by doing it yourself.'