The Long Good Friday (1980)
Starring: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan
The Long Good Friday is a work of class. Its an excellent gangster story set in 1980’s London. When the film was in production the film crew were being advised on set full time by real gangsters of ex gang members – making sure that they got as much as possible accurate to real life.
The story follows Harold Shand, played by Bob Hoskins. Harold is London’s most notorious gangster. Near the start of the film we see him getting picked up from the airport. He has been to America, setting up some deals with some yanks who are shortly due to arrive back in London to iron the details of a big property deal.
Now in Harolds absence, one of his men does some things that they shouldn’t have and now its time for revenge. The enemy automatically assume Harold gave the order to do these things are therefore ultimately are holding him responsible… and so it begins… the long Good Friday. Everywhere Harold turns up with his yank business partners something blows up or someone is stabbed.
Helen Mirren plays Harolds ever faithful wife and tries to smooth the business side of things while he sets about tracking down these anonymous threats to his life.
I won’t give away anymore, just watch it. In my opinion, its the finest English made gangster film ever made. Hoskins was in his element playing Shand and its fantastic viewing. There are many familiar faces in the supporting cast and an excellent script with enough comedy thrown in to round it off.
Its worth watching for the scene in the image alone, when all the local gang bosses are rounded up and questioned hanging upside down on meat hooks at the local abattoir. Genius. Some of the lines delivered by Hoskins are pure movie gold. These sorts of films are not made anymore and that itself is a crime.
Director: John Mackenzie
Writer: Barrie Keeffe