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44 Inch Chest is a 2009 British crime comedy-drama film directed by Malcolm Venville in his directorial debut. The film stars Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, Stephen Dillane and Joanne Whalley. The film was released on 19 October 2009.

44 Inch Chest
44 inch chest poster.jpg
Theatrical Release Poster
Directed byMalcolm Venville
Produced byRichard Brown
Steve Golin
Written byLouis Mellis
David Scinto
StarringRay Winstone
Ian McShane
John Hurt
Tom Wilkinson
Stephen Dillane
Joanne Whalley
Music byAngelo Badalamenti
CinematographyDaniel Landin
Edited byRick Russell
Distributed byMomentum Pictures
Release date
  • 19 October 2009 (2009-10-19) (London Film Festival)
  • 15 January 2010 (2010-01-15) (United Kingdom)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$247,553

It was originally written for the stage in 1996 by Louis Mellis and David Scinto, who went on to write Sexy Beast before the script was adapted for film in 2009. The film was produced by Richard Brown and Steve Golin (Babel, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and featured cinematography by Daniel Landin. The score is a collaboration between Angelo Badalamenti and Massive Attack.


Colin Diamond is a successful car salesman who, after discovering his wife Liz is having an affair, has an emotional breakdown. His friends convince him to kidnap his wife's lover and then encourage him to torture and kill him.

Diamond's partners in crime are suave homosexual gambler Meredith, crotchety and bigoted Old Man Peanut, the down to earth Archie and the combustible Mal, who by turns encourage Colin's lust for revenge and sympathise with his situation, and conspire to emotionally and mentally torture Liz's new boyfriend, Loverboy, a "Frog" waiter, first by locking him in a cupboard and threatening him, and tying him up and subjecting him to humiliating verbal and physical assault.

Parts of the story occur in flashback, with Colin discovering Liz's infidelity and the after effects of it, which then affect the present, in which he tries to come to terms with the shame and torment that this brings to him. Parts of the story also appear to happen inside Colin's mind, with him trying to reconcile with himself, using his friends as representations of his own turmoil, and his resolving of the situation.



44 Inch Chest is set and filmed in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and London, England on 26 May and 13 July 2008.


44 Inch Chest has received mixed to negative reviews. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 41% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 78 reviews, with an average score of 5.2/10.[2] The Daily Telegraph gave the film 3/5 stars, calling the film "A plum actors' piece which both gains and loses points by soberly stalling its own plot."[3] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian was less enthusiastic, giving the film 2/5 saying "The film talks the talk – in fact, it talks and talks and talks the talk. But the walk isn't happening."[4]

Home mediaEdit

On 10 May 2010, DVD was released in Region 2 in the United Kingdom, it was distributed by Momentum Pictures.


From 12-24 August 2019, 44 Inch Chest will be performed on stage for the first time as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, at the Perth Theatre (aka theSpace on North Bridge). The play, an abridged edit of the original 1996 script, will be produced by Out of Bounds Theatre.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ali Jaafar (28 May 2008). "'44 Inch Chest' adds to cast". Variety. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  2. ^ "44 Inch Chest Film Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  3. ^ Daily Telegraph review
  4. ^ Guardian film review

External linksEdit