The Fruit Machine

Watch The Fruit Machine

  • R
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 43 min
  • 6.3  (596)

The Fruit Machine is a riveting British thriller from 1988 that takes us on a wild ride through the seedy underbelly of London's gay scene. Written and directed by Philip Saville, the film revolves around two teenage friends, Eddie and Michael (Emile Charles and Tony Forsyth), who run away from home and end up in a dangerous world of drugs, prostitution, and violence.

Eddie and Michael are inseparable best friends who live with their abusive families in a grimy council estate in South London. They dream of escaping their dreary existence and starting a new life together in the big city, where they can be free to be themselves and find happiness. They choose to run away to London, but soon find out that the reality is not as rosy as they had imagined.

The boys soon encounter a series of characters who introduce them to the twisted and murky world of the city's homosexual subculture. They befriend a group of drag queens and spend their nights in seedy clubs, dancing and doing drugs. However, things take a turn for the worse when they get involved with a powerful gangster, who forces them into prostitution and blackmail.

Throughout the film, we witness the boys' descent into a dark and dangerous world, where survival depends on their ability to outsmart the shady characters they encounter. Eddie and Michael learn to navigate their new surroundings, but they also face their own demons and insecurities. As they struggle to find their way in this new world, their friendship is put to the test.

The Fruit Machine is a gritty and uncompromising film that explores themes of identity, sexuality, abuse, and survival. The film is set against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic and the fear and stigma that it generated within the gay community. The characters are complex and nuanced, with each one grappling with their own demons and motivations.

Emile Charles and Tony Forsyth deliver powerful performances as the two protagonists, bringing a vulnerability and authenticity to their roles. The film also boasts an impressive supporting cast, including Robert Stephens as the gangster, and Robbie Coltrane as a sympathetic drag queen.

The cinematography and soundtrack capture the mood and atmosphere of London's underground scene, creating a sense of both danger and excitement. The film is also notable for its bold depiction of homosexuality at a time when it was still considered taboo in mainstream media.

Overall, The Fruit Machine is a compelling and thought-provoking film that still resonates today, more than three decades after its initial release. It is a testament to the power of independent cinema and its ability to shed light on marginalized communities and tell their stories with honesty and sensitivity.

The Fruit Machine is a 1988 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.

The Fruit Machine
Where to Watch The Fruit Machine
The Fruit Machine is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Peacock Premium. Some platforms allow you to rent The Fruit Machine for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 43 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (596)