One of Mike Figgis' first films, Stormy Monday fuses an intriguing mix of American greed, crudeness, and innocence with British coolness, toughness, and civility. But added to the mix, interestingly enough, is a Polish element (more on that later).
One American is Melanie Griffith as a cocktail waitress and vaguely defined moll (or former moll) of the other, Tommy Lee Jones, a ruthless moblike businessman who plans on making Newcastle, England his own--commercially, of course. (Political takeover is a little hard to imagine circa 1988). Melanie emits a sexy blend of sensuality and innocence, pretty much irresistible. The British are Sting, as the owner of a club (a role he neatly reprised in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels), and Sean Bean as his cleaning person/gofer. Both are civil and, as it happens, tough as well. And Sting's coolness is in the ultra category, a real neat piece of work.
Sean and Melanie meet and then do a whole lot more; they do the romantic thing, all the while being pursued, as is Sting, by Tommy's henchmen. Tommy plays rough, as it turns out. The mingling of Yank and Brit romantically (Melanie and Sean) is paralleled by battling of Yank and Brit commercially (Tommy and Sting).
The Polish element? Melanie's character is half Polish, and, as well, the band slated to play in Sting's club has an accident so the Cracow Jazz Ensemble (or some such), all Poles, steps in instead, among which is Andrej, a sympathetic band manager, the only one who speaks English. Andrej is destined to play a critical role in the film, but rather than provide a spoiler here, see the film to understand what this means.
Violence plays a large part in the proceedings, as is obvious from the above description. This is a well-plotted film that put Mike Figgis on the map. Doesn't hurt that he not only wrote and directed it, but also composed the music for it, an effectively moody jazz score.