- Actors: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Eddie Constantine, Dave King, Brian Hall
- Directors: John MacKenzie
- Producers: Barry Hanson
- Format: PAL
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 18
- Studio: Anchor Bay
- DVD Release Date: 19 Feb. 2007
- Run Time: 109 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000MGAW2I
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,504 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
The Long Good Friday  [DVD]
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Acclaimed gangster thriller starring Bob Hoskins as a top London crime boss whose attempts to launch a legitimate business enterprise are disrupted by a number of bombs from an unknown adversary. Harold Shand (Hoskins) is a gangster who has worked his way to the top with utter ruthlessness and a penchant for violence. Recognising that a more secure and prosperous future lies in moving to legal operations, he prepares to trade a life of crime for respectability through a plan to regenerate London's Docklands area. However, when unknown bombers begin targeting his properties and killing his associates, Shand only knows one response - violence. As he and his mistress, Victoria (Helen Mirren), try to hold his crumbling empire together, Shand finds himself facing the ironic prospect of all-out war just as he tries to convert to peace.
Intricately plotted and smartly paced, this gangster saga clicks as whodunit, social satire and explosive thriller. The piece is crowned by Bob Hoskins' career-making turn as a London mobster courting respectability and Helen Mirren's subtly detailed performance as his upper-crust mistress. Cockney wiseguy Harold Shand is a would-be burgher whose domination of the city's underworld stems from his shrewdness as a mediator and his skill at harnessing political and economic clout. As Easter approaches, he's poised to launch an aggressive real estate development scheme along the depressed Thames waterfront when all hell breaks loose: a trusted lieutenant is brutally murdered, Shand's mother is nearly killed in a car bombing, one of his pubs is blown apart and the visiting American don crucial to the pending deal is quickly growing wary.
Barrie Keeffe's original screenplay keeps the viewer a step ahead of Shand, providing us with a telling but teasingly incomplete glimpse of the misstep by his underlings that has set chaos loose. At the same time, Keeffe underlines the bourgeois pretensions of the rough-hewn, barrel-chested Shand, how the elegant Victoria (Mirren) helps serve those ambitions and the myriad parallels between Shand's minions and the local politicians and police only too willing to join in his scheme. Tart, funny dialogue and alternately playful and pungent Eastertide imagery complete Keeffe's shrewd design--two key scenes, in a meat locker and a warehouse, invoke the Crucifixion itself.
Even with lesser performances, the script and John Mackenzie's solid direction would make The Long Good Friday a keeper but Hoskins's explosive portrait of Shand and his descent toward brutal revenge elevates the film into the very front rank, earning admiring comparisons to TheGodfather, Scarface, GoodFellas and other classics of that genre. --Sam Sutherland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
DVD seems good, the commentary informative. A film for the library, with a DVD that does it justice.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best British gangster movie of all time. Set in the late 1970s before London's Docklands had been developed here are Helen Mirren And Bob Hoskins at their best. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jo O'Reilly
A very impressive anti-Godfather essay. Bleak, cruel, destitute of hope. England on the cusp of Thatcherism. A close to brilliant performance by Bob Hoskins. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Mario
excellent film a classic. Very good price and excellent service from the sellermPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer