Gabriel and Me is a 2001 film starring Iain Glen, Sean Landless and Billy Connolly as the angel Gabriel. It originated from the British play I Luv You Jimmy Spud. Some outdoor scenes were filmed in North East England including the Roker pier in Sunderland.
Jimmy Spud is a young loner living in the Byker Wall. Ever since his father through him high in the air from South Shields pier, he dreamt of being able to fly, and specifically of being an angel.
He lives with his brutish but terminally ill father, played by Iain Glen, his mother (Rosie Rowell) and philosophical grandfather (David Bradley). He is bullied at school.
Whilst "praying" in a derelict and abandoned church one day, Jimmy is visited by Gabriel (Billy Connolly), who advises him on how to become an angel.
He goes home and sows a multitude of feathers onto an old dress and goes wandering around the docks. We next see him on the absolute top of a tower crane, watching a boy cycling below. The boy skids and lands in the water. Jimmy sees his chance to prove himself and dives in to rescue him. The boy, a Pakistani boy scout, thanks him and they become friends.
Jimmy practices "flying" by jumping off a plank, and is seen to hover unnaturally long, as if achieving his aim.His dad discovers the new pair of friends in the bedroom one day, with Jimmy in his "dress", he his furious and smashes a trumpet Jimmy had borrowed from school for angel practice.
Jimmy's grandfather sells his himing pigeons to buy Jimmy a new trumpet.
Dad's illness (seemingly lung cancer) worsens and he goes into hospital. Jimmy is told that he will not return. He visits dad in hospital wearing his angel dress and plays Swing Low, Sweet Chariot on the trumpet.
Disillusioned by his father's death he burns the angel dress. However Gabriel returns and explains that he has met his goal.
The film ends with the famous throw on the jetty which inspired Jimmy so much.
Gabriel & Me
Directed by Udayan Prasad
Written by Lee Hall
Starring Iain Glen
Distributed by Pathé
Running time 84 min.
Gabriel & Me
Guy Thorpe Beeston
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