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The Long Firm [DVD] [2004]

Mark Strong , George Costigan , Bille Eltringham    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Price: 6.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Long Firm [DVD] [2004] + He Kills Coppers [DVD] + The Sins [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Mark Strong, George Costigan, Neil Conrich, Geoff Bell, Derek Jacobi
  • Directors: Bille Eltringham
  • Writers: Jake Arnott, Joe Penhall
  • Producers: David Bernath, Hilary Salmon, Laura Mackie, Liza Marshall
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Aug 2004
  • Run Time: 220 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002CH7GQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,939 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Four-part BBC2 drama based on the cult novel by Jake Arnott set in the dark underbelly of 1960s London. Mark Strong plays Harry Starks, a charismatic nightclub owner, racketeer and porn king, whose sensitive temperament and love of Judy Garland belie the violent savagery that makes him the most feared and respected crime boss in Soho. His story is told from the point of view of four characters on whom Starks leaves his indelible mark: the poverty-stricken aristocrat Lord Teddy Thursby (Derek Jacobi) who cannot hide his predilection for young boys; Ruby Ryder (Lena Headey), a film actress past her prime; radical criminologist and lecturer Lenny (Shaun Dingwall); and Jimmy (Phil Daniels), a lowlife petty criminal who gets increasingly drawn into Starks' dark world.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Commentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: During the swinging sixties in London, there was only one crime boss in Soho that mattered: the indomitable Harry Starks. With a reputation for savagery and generosity in equal measure, Starks ruled central London with a coercive fist and his favourite implement of torture: the red-hot poker. Based on Jake Arnott's best selling novel, which combines fact with fiction, this is a retrospective tale of criminality in the 1960s through to the 1980s; told from the view of four characters as they encounter the menacing Starks. From the penniless Lord with a predilection for young boys to a fading film actress desperate to make ends meet, from an out-of-touch minor crook to a disillusioned criminologist - Starks leaves his indelible mark on them all. But Starks is no regular gangster - he's an intelligent, complex Judy Garland loving man who yearns for something more than the rough and tumble of criminal life. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, ...The Long Firm - 2-DVD Set

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awards should be festooned on this quality drama 17 Oct 2004
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
A sensational performance from Mark Strong as gangster Harry Starks dominates this excellent adaptation of Jake Arnotts superb novel. Radiating a simmering menace underneath a convivial urbane exterior Starks is prone to outbreaks of explosive violence or more unexpectedly moments of empathy and vulnerability. It says a lot for Strongs portrayal that he's utterly convincing in either mode or that he makes this unpleasant character compelling and seduces you into caring what happens to him.
Told over four episodes, each one concentrates on a different character that is drawn into Starks inner circle. There's Teddy Thursby, a Tory M.P and a closet homosexual trapped in a sham marriage who is seduced by the easy access Starks social circles give him to pliant young men. (Starks too is homosexual) He in turn offers Starks the chance to mix in more elevated company and polish the rough edges of his working class exterior. It soon becomes clear who is most be-holden to who in this unlikely alliance and Thursbys dawning realisation that the man he is so implicated with is in fact capable of extreme savagery is fascinating. He is also beautifully portrayed by Derek Jacobi and you can almost smell the sweaty clammy terror emanating from him as Starks tempestuous personality unfolds like a spider's maw.
The second is centred on Jack the Hat played with nervy skittish glee by Phil Daniels, a small time crook and Drug dealer and casual acquaintance of Starks who through an escalating series of events ends up paying a very high price for the company he has chosen to keep and the type of life he has chosen. In the book this character meets his demise at the hands of the Krays but that element is exempted from this adaptation robbing it to some extent of the powerful impact it had in the book.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Rivals Get Carter: Well done BBC 28 July 2004
After 15 years in bookselling and after reading hundreds of crime novels, I thought there was nothing in British Crime Fiction that could impress me like Ted Lewis' Jack Carter books. Then I received a free advance copy of Jake Arnott's first novel 'The Long Firm' in the post and broke a golden rule - most proofs are dull, commercial books that no serious reader (i.e. people who go beyond bestsellers) considers - and I read the thing.
And it was excellent - gritty, realistic, well-written, superb characters including a suberbly realised and unique Antihero, Harry Starks.
When I heard the BBC were going to adapt 'The Long Firm' for TV I got the fear -they were bound to screw it up, but boy was I wrong: Mark Strong's portrayal of Harry Starks is brilliant and the adaptation is superb, different enough from the book to keep it interesting while faithful enough to please a hardened purist like me.
So igf you finf regular British Tv crime fare a bore and fancy something that is as interesting as Anthony Frewin's 'London Blues' and almost as well plotted as 'Get Carter', 'The Long Firm' is for you. Television at its best on DVD: we need a .lot more original stuff like this on our screens.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Firstly this review is not in any way a criticism of the quality of this excellent drama.

However, this is also dvd review and it's worth pointing out to prospective buyers that this has the worst quality video transfer I have ever seen, to the extent that if you have a large screen it is unwatchable for large segments.

The bbc should do better, and this drama deserves better - you would be better off waiting for it to reappear on tv and taping it onto a VHS than buying this dvd - it really is that bad.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong stuff 4 Oct 2006
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of those enigmas that the industry occasionally throws up is why is Mark Strong such a genuinely impressive actor on television yet so astonishingly bland whenever he appears in a movie? He's certainly at his very best in The Long Firm. The BBC series got lost in the tail-end of the avalanche of post-Guy Ritchie British Mockney gangster movies, but this four-part TV drama is in a class of its own. Each seen through a different character's eyes (Derek Jacobi, Lena Headey and Phil Daniels), the first three episodes are superb in their evocation of the late 50s and 60s and the milieu underachieving third-league homosexual ("I'm not gay, I'm a homosexual") Jewish East London gangster Harry Starks (Strong, living up to his name) and his delusions of respectability and love of Judy Garland and Dorothy Squires. The final episode is less successful, largely because it is filtered through Shaun Dingwall's shallow and too comically stereotyped sociology professor who learns his own mediocrity through Harry's intellectual outgrowing of him - the scenes with Strong are excellent, but when the focus is on Dingwall it's too much a soft satire of 70s. Yet even that lapse of judgment can't detract from the overall quality of the series - this is the real deal and deserves to be far better known.

Extras on this widescreen disc are sparse - simply a producer/director audio commentary with Strong on the first and fourth episodes - but with a show this good, who needs all the trimmings?
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long Firm DVD 16 Nov 2004
I am pleased to be given this oppurtunity to review ,what i can only describe,as a masterpeice.
The long firm should form part of any serious DVD collection.
The story is of Harry Starks,a gangster who happens to be jewish,and a homosexual (i use homosexual as Harry finds the term "gay" too "poofy".
Harrys world revolves around scams,organised crime,porn,racketering,and his club "The Stardust" in Londons west end,during the swinging sixties.
Harry is the most intruiging of charectors,who during the DVD captivates you, Harry story is told thru the people he comes into contact with, The main five charectors are Lord Teddy Thursby,a politicain who gets drawn into Harrys world and soon realises he is in too deep,Teddy has a profound and deep admiration for Harry,which clouds his judgement as to the murkier side of Harrys world.
In the second episode we meet Ruby Rider,a blonde bombshell waiting to happen,bit part actress down on her luck, and Tommy,a young confused and somewhat naieve lad,who is the love of Harrys life.
During this stage of the DVD we see Harrys kinder,humane and loving side,his needing,and longing to be loved,it is almost impossible not to feel a great liking of the charector Harry.
Sadly,we see that all that glitters in Harrys world isnt gold when the situation turns into a lethal love triangle.
In episode three we meet jimmy a low life scumbag and drug pusher who gets involved in Harrys world at a time when Harrys dodgy dealings stand to cost him everything,including his freedom.
And in what is the forth and final episode we meet Lenny, A sociologist hippy type who helps Harry in this final part of the DVD,purely not to give too much away i wont say much here!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by Janice Dwyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Utterly Superb drama Why oh Why did they not do many more of these is a mystery to me

Videolicaly yours

Jim Clark
poetryreincarnations at youtube... Read more
Published 29 days ago by J. Clark
2.0 out of 5 stars not for me
I guess I am too old for this type of show. Hated the language so it was hard to get into the story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by quinnbabe
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
What a brilliant prgramme, Mark Strong is fabulous as Harry Starks, so charismatic. I read this book some years ago and like the show it's about various people telling the story of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by ladygrinningsoul
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and atmospheric
Really enjoyed this series. Big fan of Mark Strong ( of Sherlock Holmes and Rock n Rolla fame ). I'd like to see more of him. Read more
Published 7 months ago by DRep
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it
I am a big fan of Mark Strong and wish we could see more of him. I enjoyed this very much and thought the acting excellent. Read more
Published 7 months ago by susieq
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I first saw this on television and was hooked. Some parts ran close to personal experiences which made it all the more enjoyable. Though the book is mcuh more engrossing
Published 8 months ago by mayanguy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Film
I brought this as a present and they were very happy with this ...................that's all I can say as I have not actually seen it
Published 8 months ago by Eve Simmonds
3.0 out of 5 stars Menacing
I saw Mark Strong in the last episode of this series recently on TV repeat and thought his performance astonishing.
Published 9 months ago by Louise Devany
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
Love Mark Strong brilliant actor and this is a great film set in the 60s in seedy London, loved it.
Published 9 months ago by carols1840
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