7.7/10
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167 user 169 critic

Vera Drake (2004)

Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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George
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Reg
Anna Keaveney ...
Nellie
Alex Kelly ...
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Sid
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Mrs. Wells
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Susan
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Mr. Wells
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Sandra Voe ...
Vera's Mother
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Sid's Customer
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Storyline

Vera Drake is a selfless woman who is completely devoted to, and loved by, her working class family. She spends her days doting on them and caring for her sick neighbor and elderly mother. However, she also secretly visits women and helps them induce miscarriages for unwanted pregnancies. While the practice itself was illegal in 1950s England, Vera sees herself as simply helping women in need, and always does so with a smile and kind words of encouragement. When the authorities finally find her out, Vera's world and family life rapidly unravel. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Wife. Mother. Criminal.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

14A | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 2004 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto de Vera Drake  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,207 (USA) (8 October 2004)

Gross:

$3,753,806 (USA) (25 March 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Except for Imelda Staunton, none of the actors knew the film was about abortion until their characters found out. See more »

Goofs

When Sid and his friends are dancing, the music features blaring trumpets. A shot of the band shows only the saxophone and trombone players playing, while the the trumpet player taps his toes. The music also seems to be coming from a much larger band. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Vera: Hello George, only me. How are you going today?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits it says: "In loving memory of my parents, a doctor and a midwife." See more »

Connections

Featured in Imagine: The One and Only Mike Leigh (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Salut D'Amour (Liebesgruss), Op.12
(1888)
Written by Edward Elgar
By permission of Schott & Co Limited, London
Performed by Rosemary Warren-Green (violin) and Ian Brown (piano)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a gem of a movie
10 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Imelda Staunton is superb and is my bet for the Oscar unless some Hollywood Diva does another "out of character" performance. But she only shines because of the company she keeps.This is ensemble acting at it's finest. No melodramatics, no attempt to steal scenes,and the result is as honest as life itself. This is the way the British talked, almost always indirectly, hedging around issues rather than hitting them head on, and a slave to mannered behavior. Understate, understate, understate.

Having lived in England from 1952 to 1959, and having married someone who was British who grew up during the war and it's aftermath this movie was like "a bit of old home." My mother employed "char ladies" like Vera, although we were "upper middle class" rather than "upper." The class differences were quite distinct in those days, and often determined by accent. What this movie shows is not only the average life of a "lower class" family but the options forced on them that were different from those in the higher brackets of society.

As anyone should know by know the movie is about illegal abortion in a rigid

puritanical society. Illegal, that is, for those without means, but quite available to those who could grease the wheels of the medical establishment who had "legal" ways around the law. In other words if Roe v. Wade goes then Vera's will pop up again.

There is no attempt to make a statement for or against abortion. As Mike Leigh has said: abortion has been in every society for thousands of years. The Vera Drake's who have lived could populate a small city. What this movie does do is emphasize that the Vera's were/are common average people not quasi criminals lurking behind the curtains of some seedy back alley shack, and that legislating morality never addresses the often harsh reality of human society.


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