The Debt (2003 film)

The Debt is a two-part British television crime drama film, written by Richard McBrien and directed by Jon Jones, that first broadcast on BBC One on 31 August 2003.[1] The film stars Warren Clarke as Geoff Dresner, a retired safe-cracker determined to leave his criminal past behind, who is persuaded to come out of retirement to do one last job to clear the debt of his son-in-law, Terry (played by Martin Freeman), owed to a notorious loan-shark. However, things go badly wrong when a security guard dies as a result of their plan.[2] Hugo Speer, Lee Williams, Orla Brady and Nina Sosanya are also credited as principal members of the cast.

The Debt
DVD cover
GenreCrime drama
Written byRichard McBrien
Directed byJon Jones
StarringWarren Clarke
Hugo Speer
Lee Williams
Orla Brady
Martin Freeman
Nina Sosanya
Malcolm Storry
Barbara Marten
Amanda Abbington
Theme music composerMartin Phipps
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Executive producersSally Haynes
Laura Mackie
Jim Reeve
ProducerPier Wilkie
CinematographyJohn Pardue
EditorNick Arthurs
Running time55 minutes (per part)
Production companyStrand Productions
Original networkBBC One
Picture format16:9 (576i)
Audio formatStereo
Original release31 August 2003 (2003-08-31) (Part 1)
1 September 2003 (2003-09-01) (Part 2)

Writer Richard McBrien said of the production; "The Debt is a story about a criminal, a detective and a lawyer and how their lives collide with each other. The idea is that all three men owe debts to their children in some way which affects the way they do their job."[3] The first part drew 5.08 million viewers, while the second part drew 4.48 million.[4] The film currently holds a 71% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] The Debt was released on Region 1 DVD on 7 November 2006.[6]



Part 1Edit

Geoff Dresner (Warren Clarke), a retired safe-cracker, has turned his back on a life of crime in an attempt to turn an honest living as a baker. But his past comes back to haunt him when he's forced to take on one last job in order to help his less than useful son-in-law Terry (Martin Freeman), who has failed to pay his debt to a cutthroat loan shark, and must immediately cough up an enormous sum of money if he has any hope of emerging unscathed. Dresner organises a robbery in an attempt to help Terry, but the plan immediately goes wrong. Dresner finds himself caught in the sights of DS Edward Foster (Hugo Speer), who is struggling financially, and is eager to finally bringing him to justice after years of evading the law; and James Hilden (Lee Williams), a hotshot rookie lawyer who has recently married and has a baby on the way.

Part 2Edit

Dresner finds himself caught up in a tangled web of lies, secrets and double-crossing, as he tries to find a way to save himself and his family. Not quite ready for his loss of independence, Hilden embarks on an affair with an ex-colleague, and agrees to take on Geoff's case, but unwittingly, his secret love life becomes caught up in his professional affairs, and before he knows it, he is stuck in a vicious circle of deceit and denial. Geoff soon realises that Hilden is unequipped with the experience or know-how to successfully defend him. Foster's second job as a night taxi driver continues to take its toll on his police work, and as a result, he is overlooked for promotion – but he soon realises that the Dresner investigation could be an opportunity for him to make the grade.


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