British Gangster Movies
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British Gangster Movies

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Our comparison between Get Carter, The Long Good Friday and Kidulthood as we track the evolving representation of British gangster movies.

Our comparison between Get Carter, The Long Good Friday and Kidulthood as we track the evolving representation of British gangster movies.

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  • 1. Chris, Ellis & Tom
  • 2.
    • Get Carter (1971)
    • The Long Good Friday (1980)
    • Kidulthood (2006)
    • Common theme... Crime, Gangsters, Prostitutes, Drugs, Knives, Cockney Geezers.
  • 3.
    • Don’t Look Now (1973)
      • Donald Sutherland & Julie Christie. (Famous sex scene, was it real etc..)
    • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
      • Leatherface with his very heavy chainsaw.
    • The Wicker Man (1973)
      • Christopher Lee (again) searching for a missing girl in a Celtic Paganistic creepy town.
  • 4.
    • Withnail and I (1987)
      • Richard E. Grant & Paul McGann
    • A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
      • John Cleese and that jewel heist.
    • Mona Lisa (1986)
      • Badass Bob Hoskins with Simone the call girl. Starring Michael Caine as well.
  • 5.
    • The Last King of Scotland (2006)
      • Idi Amin the Ugandan dictator
    • Billy Elliot (2001)
    • Gosford Park (2002)
      • Whodunit murder mystery drama
  • 6.
    • The UK saw a surge of films based upon crime in the post-war years, with glamorous films such as ‘Italian Job’ mixing crime with comedy.
    • One critic commented
      • “ the darkly glamorous image of gangsterism on screen, the ‘concerted attempt to show organised crime as a “bit of a laugh” carried out by “cheeky chappies”, and the portrayal of violence as ‘a pretty good way of doing business”
      • British Cinema Book 3rd Edition
    • Eventually coining the phrase ‘Gangster Light’
  • 7.
    • Films such as ‘Get Carter’ and ‘The Long Good Friday’ coined the phrase ‘Gangster Heavy’
      • Pointing towards the degree of realism the film had.
    • ‘ Gangster Light’ films often portrayed gangster life in a hazy manner with actions exaggerated for comedic effect.
    • ‘ Gangster Heavy’ films were much more realistic, shadowing the social realism genre.
      • This is England
  • 8.
    • Directed by: Mike Hodges
    • Produced by Michael Klinger
    • Released March 18 th
    • Produced by Metro Goldwyn Meyer
    • Starring..
      • Sir Michael Caine CBE (Zulu, Italian Job, Dark Knight)
      • Ian Hendry (Omen II, Avengers)
      • Alun Armstrong (New Tricks, Mummy Returns, Little Dorrit)
      • Britt Ekland (Wicker Man)
  • 9.
    • Based on the novel ‘Jacks Return Home’ By Ted Lewis.
    • Nominated for a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor; Ian Hendry.
  • 10.
    • Jack Carter (Michael Caine) returns to his home town of Newcastle after his brother dies in a car accident. Carter, is convinced that he was murdered, and begins an investigation into Newcastle's criminal underworld. Carter is ordered to leave town by minions of a dodgy mob boss, his suspicious become confirmed, and he begins his brutal vengeance.
  • 11.
    • Almar Haflidason from BBC Film said..
      • “ It was hardly a proud representation of Britain at the time, with the unrelenting seediness of the Newcastle locations being less than glamorous. Despite this, Caine's performance as Jack Carter has gone on to become the epitome of cool, with his measured and ruthless portrayal of a man consumed with revenge.”
  • 12.
    • “ Get Carter remains a very English (as in British) film. It's a film which was undoubtedly influenced by John Boorman's 1967 classic Point Blank. At the time of its minimal release several critics called Get Carter a British Point Blank.”
    • Chris Jarmick customer review
  • 13.
    • Get Carter has been hailed as the inspiration for many films that followed; such as the ‘Long Good Friday’, ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells’ ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘The Limey’
  • 14.  
  • 15.
    • The film was released in 1979 in the UK and 1982 in the USA
    • It had an overall budget of £930,000
    • It was directed by John Mackenzie
    • The film was produced by handmade films
    • It starred Bob Hoskins as the main character, Harold Shand
    • (Sourced from
  • 16.
    • The film was based on the build on the London dockyards as Britain attempted to move into the 21 st century, the story follows British gangster Harold Shand as he attempts to get some American investment for the dockland movement
  • 17.
    • Bob Hoskins was the main actor in the film and after starring in The Long Good Friday he then went on to star in the following films
    • Maid in Manhattan
    • Hook
    • Son of the Mask
    • (Sourced from
  • 18.
    • Harold, played by Bob Hoskins, is attempting to close a deal with some American investors on the London docks.
    • Unfortunately bombs begin to show up in inconvenient places for Harold and he needs to find out who is causing them.
    • The Americans give Harold 24 hours to sort out the problem or they will walk away from the deal
    • Eventually he finds out but gets abducted and the deal is cancelled.
    • (Sourced from
  • 19.
    • The Long Good Friday was one of the earliest British gangster films to be released and with it’s nudity, harsh language, realism and parts of comedy, added by the director, John Mackenzie, it shocked audiences worldwide.
  • 20.
    • David Wood from BBC Films said:
      • “ A touchstone for many of the sub-standard gangster films Britain mercilessly churns out today, "The Long Good Friday" is classy fare and superior viewing to its modern counterparts in every way.”
  • 21.
    • Dan Jardine said:
      • “ Mob boss Harold Shand, Bob Hoskins’ delivers one of the great performances of contemporary cinema. ”
  • 22.  
  • 23.
    • Directed By Menhaj Huda
    • Written By Noel Clarke
    • Released 3 March 2006
    • Noel Clarke has also made an appearance in Doctor Who.
    • Nicholas Hoult as has a featuring role. (Who has starred in About A Boy and Skins series 1 and 2.)
  • 24.
    • Awards in 2006...
    • Menhaj Huda won the Douglas Hickox Award
    • Nominated British Independent Film Award- Best Achievement in Production
    • Noel Clarke won best screenplay at the Dinard British Film Festival
    • Jaime Winstone ... Becky is the daughter of Ray Winstone
      • Donkey Punch, Bullet Boy, Dead Set? I think so!
  • 25.
    • Noel Clark stars in the film as Sam. The character who is portrayed as the stereotypical villain. Who is portrayed as bad throughout.
    • Adam Deacon also stars in the film as Jay.
    • Portraying a light hearted joker, who has mood swings ,and seems to think he fronts the gang.
    • From Kidulthood, Deacon has had recent success in Dead Set.
  • 26.
    • Larry Clark's Kids meets Grange Hill in Kidulthood.
    • West London drama that's ripped from the pages of the tabloids.
    • Director Menhaj Huda gives a visual feast complete with compelling situations and a ferocious soundtrack.
    • Teenage multicultural London has never been brought to life so vividly, though, and for that alone this is a film that merits the attention of both kids and adults.
      • Kidulthood website
  • 27.
    • Kidulthood stands out from the norm as it touches a raw nerve of society.
    • Portraying it OH so well.
    • Timing for this production could not have been better.
    • What with bullying, hoodies and happy slapping.
    • Its a genuine reflection of society and not just an attempt to shock for the sake of it.
  • 28.
    • The modern British soundtrack creates a very effective backdrop for the film.
    • For a horror film to be effective appropriate sound is necessary.
    • But take it away and you loose the whole effect.
    • Blog article
  • 29.
    • Music in Kidulthood though are more so compliant on the narrative.
    • Providing cultural background to the story.
    • With artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Roots Manuva.
    • Blog article
  • 30.
    • Kidulthood shares a similar post code to the Richard Curtis Rom Coms such as Notting Hill. As parts where actually shot in Notting Hill.
    • However instead of representing middle class stereotyped Britain, it shows shows binary opposition.
    • In the form of an area plagued with violence, crime and drug abuse. Giving more of a sense of social realism
  • 31.
    • ‘ Get Carter’ tackles issues about pornography which was a HOT topic as its popularity kicked off in the 70’s.
    • ‘ The Long Good Friday’ shows issues about corrupt policemen, IRA, gun running, free market economy and Thatcher.
    • Kidulthood revolves around issue running rife in inner city locations, with teen pregnancies, knife crime and dysfunctional families.
  • 32.
    • In the respect of each film they all tackle current hot topics.
      • From pornography to knife crime.
    • They can both be described as ‘Heavy Gangster’ films, with their likeness to society at the time of release.
  • 33.
    • The earlier films portray the crime life being centered around adults
    • Where as Kildulthood shows life through a child's eyes.
    • Showing how crime has evolved through the generations.
  • 34.
    • ‘ What's different is that it deals with them all from the teenagers' point of view. Adults are on the periphery: either out of reach, out of touch or, as in the open-minded mother who urges her daughter through her bedroom door to 'use a condom, darling', completely on the wrong track. The daughter's boyfriend is actually about to beat her up.’
    • Miranda Sawyer…. The Guardian
    • [Kidulthood]
  • 35.
    • As the quote in the previous slide shows that gangster films are becoming more and more centered around the younger generation.
    • In the older films London was steered away from and trying to preserve it’s identity as a regal city.
    • Get Carter was shot in Newcastle as opposed to London. Newcastle was therefore portrayed as a run down urban metropolis.
  • 36.
    • “ It also captures another part of west London, the part the Japanese tourists have missed out on so far. 'Yeah, so far we've only seen one side of the road in films,' says Clarke. 'If you walk out of that nice house and cross that road, there's a council estate bang opposite.”
    • Guardian
      • Miranda Sawyer
  • 37.
    • Each film in its own respect has it’s finger on the pulse of the UK at the time of its production and both hit a raw nerve on society.
      • “ Sex, drugs, violence, teenage pregnancy, shoplifting - a week's worth of Daily Mail editorials will be played out before the big climactic showdown.” [Kidulthood]
      • Adrian Hennigan – BBC Film
  • 38.
    • “ The Sun has already called for it to be banned and The Times has accused it of pandering to middle-class stereotypes in its portrayal of crime, bullying and sexual abuse.”
    • Independent article; Liz Hoggard
    • In contrast to ‘Get Carter’ which was, at the time was not appreciated however over time has won the hearts of the nation. Gaining it cult status, maybe why it features in ‘Your Face Here’ and on the front cover?
    • Perhaps the same is to be seen for Kidulthood, only time will tell.
  • 39.
    • Get Carter :
    • The Long Good Friday:
    • Kidulthood :