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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Long Good Friday (1980)

A crude British gangster (Bob Hoskins) has ambitions of legitimizing his organization by investing in property that will home the future Olympic games. To this end, he seeks the support of an American syndicate whose representative (Eddie Constantine, ALPHAVILLE) has arrived in London. However, a series of killings and bombings of the gangster's cohorts threaten to derail the deal and he is determined to find the culprits. But he doesn't realize just how over his head he is. Directed by John MacKenzie (THE FOURTH PROTOCOL), this is a terrific and nasty portrait of a street thug who rose from the gutter to a crime kingpin yet doesn't seem to realize that he can't control everything around him and that his violent tactics often make matters worse. This was Hoskins' breakthrough film and he gives a superb performance. He's both frightening and attractive at the same time, you can see why a looker like Helen Mirren (as his mistress) would be drawn to him. It's a tough little gangster film that spares us nothing, no glamorizing the life here. Really first rate stuff! I could have done without Francis Monkman's overcooked score though. With Derek Thompson, Dave King, Bryan Marshall, Paul Freeman and in his feature film debut, Pierce Brosnan.

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