Before 1997, "the Full Monty" was an English expression meaning, essentially, "the works," but after the comedy-drama The Full Monty was released, the phrase was known around the world as, well, showing "the works." The movie stars Robert Carlyle as an unemployed steel worker who is looking to earn enough money to make his child support payments and puts together a group of similarly unemployed men to perform a striptease act in their Sheffield, England, hometown.
The Full Monty quickly became a worldwide sensation, eventually being adapted into a 2000 Broadway musical which ran for almost two years before enjoying a run in London's West End, and its success probably didn't hurt the chances of a studio approving recent summer blockbuster Magic Mike, which probably owes The Full Monty at least that small debt of gratitude. Both movies, at the very least, prove that a tried and true Hollywood formula still works: if a decent story can be tied into men taking their clothes off, then success is on the way. Perhaps that's why The Full Monty has endured as a classic for so long. It certainly adds another layer of meaning to the phrase "hats off" as well. The Full Monty