The Long Good Friday

1980 English gangsta flick

Rating: 16/20

Plot: Things is going good for Harold, top London gangster, as he tries to put the finishing touches on a deal with some tall Americans that promises to bring him billions. He's also sleeping with Helen Mirren. It's Good Friday and Harold wakes up ready to celebrate. But oh, snap! Somebody starts blowing up or stabbing his friends or ruining his dinner plans, and he has to put a stop to it before the Americans lose interest in working with him.

This is really all about watching Hoskins' character gradually unravel and lose his cool, and this is the kind of movie that is worth the time just to watch a great actor create a great character. There's a wonderful, almost hidden intensity that builds in his character until the final (great) scene in which he can finally take a breath and rest, albeit submerged in the shadows of irony. The story's a little hard to follow, especially early on, and it's got that stuffy Englishy flavo(u)r that I hate, but the in medias res storytelling and a suspense that is so quiet you barely know it's there work very well. There are a few really cool scenes, and the interrogation scene could be regarded as a classic. The music, however, is probably some of the worst that I've heard this year and really dates the thing.

Recommended by Cory. Did you know, by the way, that they're apparently doing a remake of this?

1 comment:

cory said...

I hadn't heard that. I can't imagine that it could live up to the original since, as you say, this is all about Hoskins. He really is amazing in this film. I love how his character is so used to using force and his abrasive personality to dominate, that is until he unwittingly has bitten off more that he can chew. The quiet finale scene is one of my all-time favorites.

I actually liked the dense synth score (it has an ominous feel), but I can see why some might not care for it... at least it doesn't include Cat Stevens! This is a 19 for me.

I'm a little confused where we stand with "the game". Did you need a replacement?