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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top British Film
This film, together with Get Carter (the original) are the two finest British crime/gangster films you can get.

Bob Hoskins gives his best ever performance as Harold Shand a cockney gangster whos trying to do a deal with an American over the (as was then) wasteland of docklands. Unfortunately while he's in the states one of his gang has upset some rather nasty...
Published on 13 Sep 2006 by S J Buck

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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Be VERY CAREFUL with this disc: the aspect ratio is wrong.
"Presented in its original aspect ratio" can be read in the package. But I sincerely think it is a false statement, because a "match frame" comparison with the DVD (which offered a 1,77:1 image), reveals that in order to get the 1,66:1 image offered here, all four sides of the frames have been cropped. It is not a minor thing: they are HEAVILY cropped, there's a big...
Published on 27 Dec 2009 by P. Manzano


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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top British Film, 13 Sep 2006
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This film, together with Get Carter (the original) are the two finest British crime/gangster films you can get.

Bob Hoskins gives his best ever performance as Harold Shand a cockney gangster whos trying to do a deal with an American over the (as was then) wasteland of docklands. Unfortunately while he's in the states one of his gang has upset some rather nasty people. Upon his return things start to go badly wrong.

This film is full of great scenes - perhaps most memorably when the men Harold suspects are trying to muscle in on him are brought in hanging upsidedown from meathooks - Harold has a quiet word:

"For more than ten years there's been peace - everyone to his own patch. We've all had it sweet. I've done every single one of you favours in the past - I've put money in all your pockets. I've treated you well, even when you was out of order, right? Well now there's been an eruption. It's like f**kin' Belfast on a bad night. One of my closest friends is lyin' out there in the freezer. And believe me, all of you, nobody goes home until I find out who done it, and why".

Its all marvellously done, and the ending is very clever indeed - you will never forget it once you've seen it. The whole film is complimented by excellent music composed by Francis Monkman (who played with Curved Air and Sky).

Helen Mirren gives a great peformance as Harolds wife/girlfriend. The cast includes quite a few familiar faces such as Eddie Constantine and P H Moriarty as 'Razors'. The most noteable is a small role for the as then unknown Pierce Brosnan.

This film is also an interesting piece of British history as you can see docklands as it was before before Canary Wharf existed.

If you haven't already seen this, then you've missed a really cracking film.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have a Bloody Mary, 22 Oct 2002
By 
avl06 (The Village) - See all my reviews
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This is a true classic, for so many reasons. It has telling things to say about the 80's in Britain, and it's a great London film, a cinematically unfamiliar London of the yet-to-be redeveloped Docklands - it stands on the threshold of something. At the same time it's a timeless, Shakesperean drama of ambition and power, politics and hubris. It moves at a cracking pace, and it it still has a visceral effect. Like most great films, the music adds a dimension, driving the film forward. And Hoskins. A bravura performance, a modern tragic hero, raging against the inevitable, never truly understanding his fate, until the incredible final scene. I saw this film years ago on tv, and its images have stayed with me; it's great to say that it is as fresh and involving now as I remembered it. And I have to say, the accident of fate that is Pierce Brosnan - with the hindsight of Bond, he looks as beautiful as the Angel of Death in this now.
DVD seems good, the commentary informative. A film for the library, with a DVD that does it justice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shand is ambitious, charismatic, uncompromising and he is a gangster, 23 Sep 2014
By 
Amazon Customer "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Possible spoilers

"The Long Good Friday" tells its narrative in an unusual way,

The opening sequences are a pastiche of seemingly dissimilar violent happenings; the gel that holds them together is the enthralling musical theme. As the film progresses we are eventually let into an explanation. It's all a huge misunderstanding, grounded on unwise pronouncements taken by Shand's minions and misconstrued by the provisional IRA, who feel their interests are threatened. While the audience knows the real events that caused the problem, and eventually Shand does, it appears that the provisional IRA is none the wiser. The climatic ending and the movie's final scenes are, quite simply, with the zooming in of the camera, held for effect, of Shand's sneering face in full detail, as his eyes shift from side to side, and eventually his mouth breaks into a terrified grin, as it dawns on him on how it feels to get a dose of his own medicine.

This movie is one remarkable piece of work, not only for the late Mr Hoskins performance but also for the synergy of the cinematography, the power of the musical composition, and, in a strange way the rather appealing nature of its at times very violent sense of humour. This is an excellent piece of 20th century British cinema making and is therefore highly recommended.

As for the extras - well there are none apart from a very dated cinematic preview clip. As for its quality well it is less than OK.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long Good Friday, 1 Sep 2003
The Long Good Friday is possibly the best British Gangster film of all time. Only Get Carter (1971) can compete in the same league. Bob Hoskins portrays the part of the London Gangster superbly. With a strong cast, this film had all the makings of a winner. There have since been many british gangster films ie. Snatch, Lock Stock, Sexy Beast etc but for me this film will always be the greatest gangster film ever made.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best British film ever ever ever, 2 Sep 2005
By 
Alan Gregory "alan17924" (UK-Lancs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
First saw this film over 20 years ago. Still as good now as it was then, if not better because of its 80's realism. Hoskins plays the lead with pace and panache which moves the film along at tremondous speed. The brutality is not out of place yet in places it softness balances this out. Some critics have said the music score is dated, but can you really have a film from 1981 without a synth. Watch and enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic 80's film, 18 Feb 2008
By 
ALP (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Stands the test of time, a little dated in places and some of the performances, but on the whole, good entertainment and at the price, you can't go wrong.
One thing to mention, the DVD does not have chapters, so if the disc glitches (as mine did on first play) you have to start at the beginning and forward fast to the point you were at. A bit of a drag!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long Good Friday,(Blue Ray), 9 April 2010
By 
David R. Hale (Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is one of the original classic gangster films of the 1970,s, it was certainly one of my favourites, so when i saw it on the Amazon website available on blue ray, it was a must buy. I was a little concerned that maybe the blue ray transfer would not be as sharp as new films are, but i need not have worried, it was a joy to see it again in all it,s glory, the film is as brutal and brilliant as i remember it,and to see 70,s london , the east end and docks brought back so many memories, being a london lad at that time.Bob Hoskins at his very best, what a casting for mobster,Harold Shand, perfect.
Also, the beautiful Helen Mirren in one of her first roles and Eddie Constantine as Charlie, Dave King also puts in a magic performance, plus so many great actors in their first major roles, Bryan Marshall, Pierce Brosnan, Derek Thompson,what a cast!I have to say this film brilliantly re-creates 70,s london as it was, depicting the crime mobster era and portraying the ruthless villians at that time perfectly. All in all, a must see on blue ray for all who love their gangster films coupled with the ferocious Bob Hoskins as he tries to find the villians who are responsible for literally exploding his empire around him. The 1080 transfer is spot on and there are plenty of special features too, a good value disc and one great crime drama to buy and keep for ever, enjoy.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The number one Brit Ganster Movie, 1 Feb 2009
By 
John Peter O'connor - See all my reviews
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Before this movie was released, with the exception of Michael Caine`s Get Carter, British gangster movies were little known around the world and even at home, they were little appreciated. With Harold Shand, a brash, rough pint sized gangster on the make, Bob Hoskins changed that and paved the way for a whole raft of gritty crime thrillers set in the British Isles. Although few of the later movies rose to the heights claimed by Caine and Hoskins.

Harold Shand is a London gangster from the old school, he is the man that the real life Kray twins might like to have been, bursting with ruthlessness, animal cunning, aggression, hubris, charisma and ambition he sets out to transform himself into a businessman cum developer who will succeed because the qualities that make him a good gangster will allow him to defeat any legitimate business rival. He is assisted by his girl Victoria (Helen Mirren) - several grades above the classic Barbera Windsor style of gangster`s moll - who understands her man`s strengths and weaknesses and gives him the support and guidance that he needs succeed without threatening his perceived alpha male dominance.

Shand`s big idea is to get in on the development on London`s docklands and to cash in on an upcoming bid to host the Olympic games. He turns to an American crime syndicate for backing and the movie is set on an Easter weekend when he is playing host to mobster Charlie (Eddie Constantine) and Tony (Stephen Davies), Charlie`s lawyer.

Harold`s plans start to come unstuck as his organization quakes under attack from an unknown enemy who is planting bombs and assassinating Harold`s men. Victoria, assisted by Harold`s right hand man Jeff (Derek Thompson), attempts to keep the Americans on-board while Harold must find out who is behind the attacks and deal with them. He finally works out what is going on but can his gangster instincts deal with an entirely new threat?

Hoskins and Mirren are outstanding. They are an unlikely couple but they will have you convinced. Great acting from them both is helped by a script that gives them plenty to work with. Unfortunately, the two of them do a fine job of highlighting just how poor is the rest of the acting. Jeff has betrayed Harold but he hardly gives a hint as to what his motives might have been and all of the other characters seem to be determined to deliver their lines and collect their money and that`s it.

The uninspiring supporting actors do not detract though. The script and the editing deliver a tight package that it always moving along and holding your attention. The camera work is good too - you are there in Harold`s London and not just in a studio with a few street scene backdrops.

If you like this film then you will want to catch "Mona Lisa" in which Hoskins gets quite close to the Shand character. All of the subsequent Brit-gangster movies will entertain you but never reach the same level. For that, you should perhaps try "Trainspotting" but not if you found Hoskins` accent difficult!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're Not Going to Find It Easy to Forget, 17 Dec 2011
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"The Long Good Friday," (1980), made from an original script by Barrie Keefe, starring Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren, directed by John Mackenzie, makes just about everyone's short list of greatest British gangster movies. In fact, greatest gangster movies, period. The late George Harrison, of the Beatles, served as one of its executive producers: it was nominated for a BAFTA (British Oscar) on its release. Gangster movies are said to depend on the energy and performance of their protagonists -- see George Raft, Jimmy Cagney, and Edward G. Robinson-- and this one made a star of Hoskins, who captured the explosive violence of its protagonist Harold Shand, a cockney gangster. As has been noticed, between them, Hoskins and Michael Caine dominate the three greatest post-war British gangster films. The film opens on Good Friday, and is, in fact, full of Easter imagery, as is, interestingly enough the world famous poem of the medieval Italian author Dante Aleghieri, Dante: Inferno (Penguin Classics) that was also set at Easter. Shand's mother goes to mass; and scenes set in a slaughterhouse and a warehouse present specifically Christian iconography.

"The Long Good Friday" is also set at a significant time, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's own Euro version of the greed-is-good 1980's. In fact, at moments, it almost seems the film is quoting Dante's poem that also centers on the greed is good crowd of its own time and place. At any rate, the film makes good use of its era, as Michael Caine's memorable Get Carter [1971] [DVD] did of Britain's sourly swinging 1970's.Shand, as played by Hoskins (Mona Lisa [DVD]) appears, like Jimmy Cagney, to be on top of the world, Ma, as the film opens. During Thatcher's reign, London's extensive docklands are just beginning to be profitably redeveloped, and Shand is getting in on the ground floor. He expects to get additional seed money for his projects from Charlie, a visiting American gangster, nicely played by that iconic French actor Eddie Constantine. Shand's got a gorgeous, upper crust, tough, sexy, smart mistress, Victoria; as played by Helen Mirren, (an Oscar-winner for The Queen [DVD] [2006]); nobody could doubt that she has her say in his organisation. But while the gangster is in the States, hooking up with Charlie, things begin to go wrong for him. And it takes him too long to figure out what's happening. Pierce Brosnan,later to achieve world-wide fame as James Bond, 007, then evidently at the start of his career, has a bit, nearly non-speaking part: apparently he improvised one line, and it stuck. But he plays a bare-chested pool scene, showing off a fine body, and a charming smile, but, oh, those terrible not-yet-improved-to-American standards teeth! And he drives the car in the movie's gripping final scenes. Hoskins and Mirren give remarkable performances, together and on their own, never more so than these final, almost wordless scenes together. You're not going to find them easy to forget.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent early UK gangster film, 12 Jan 2001
By A Customer
An interesting film, an early prototype for the more recent UK-based gangster genre. Bob Hoskins is very effective as the schizophrenic London hood. His bonhomie and humour give way to truly disturbing violence, particularly in one scene where he exacts retribution on the colleague who has betrayed him. Perhaps this is the main source of suspense. The early impression is of genial, small-time crooks, but this illusion is destroyed by the escalating violence by and against an unknown adversary as Hoskins struggles to find who is out to destroy him. Helen Mirren is superb as his upper-class mistress - her first film role of note, although she also appeared much earlier in the little-known "Age of Consent" with James Mason. Note also an early cameo from Pierce Brosnan as an Irish terrorist. Cracking score as well. Well worth a viewing.
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The Long Good Friday [DVD] [1980]
The Long Good Friday [DVD] [1980] by Bob Hoskins (DVD - 2011)
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