Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Fox (1980)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Leeson, a right-wing politician, is struck on the head by a bottle during a political demonstration that Phil has organised at his University. The University authorities intend to put him in front of the disciplinary committee, and Phil is willing to take expulsion if it gives him the opportunity to make a political point. Anna, his girlfriend, gives him a key to her flat so that he can sit things out there for a few days. When he arrives he is surprised to find her mother sitting in the flat drinking. Billy finds that Phil is in London, and immediately confronts him at Anna's flat. The police have been in touch about the incident and they have an eyewitness who says Phil threw the bottle. They argue fiercely, and amongst other things Billy accuses Phil of hypocrisy because he professes to be left-wing but would rather stay in a posh flat than his family home. Phil protests that he didn't throw the bottle, but Billy accuses Phil of betraying the family. As Billy storms out, Phil tells him that when he finally dies the family will be able to breathe again. Phil goes to the police, and finds that, although a University workman is acting as a witness against him, the politician is not pressing charges but instead will use the incident to gain publicity.

Vin and Renee successfully arrange for their deaf son Andy to attend a new specialist school. They stop at a country pub on the way home, and like it so much they decide to buy it. Meanwhile, Billy and Andy are fishing, when Billy has a heart attack. Andy runs to get help, but has difficulty making himself understood. Eventually a dog walker comes to his aid.

Phil visits the University workman who claimed to have witnessed him throwing the bottle. He doesn't recognise him. Phil finds out he was put up to it by the Young Conservatives, and successfully persuades their student leader to drop the smear campaign.

The Fox family rush to the hospital where Billy has been taken, but they can't contact Phil. A message is left for him on his door at University, but a passing couple dislodge it. Phil finally finds out about Billy and races to the hospital. At the hospital Billy asks repeatedly for Phil. Phil arrives, but he is too late - Billy has died.