Saturday, December 20, 2014

Long Good Friday

The Long Good Friday is notable for being the place where the world first noticed Bob Hoskins. This was the place where Hoskins stepped out of the shadows and stepped front and center in to the spot light on the world stage. Yea, Hoskins had been around for years prior to this but was the point where he stopped being that guy and became himself.

The film has Hoskins as a mob boss trying to gain respectability by brokering a real estate deal with some rich Americans. Just as the deal is starting to be finalized some of his men are killed and someone blows up his mother in her car. Hoskins wants revenge, but he has no idea who is behind the acts. However as Hoskins goes through his search for answers he finds his grip on the situation spinning away from him. Things are not what they seem, reasons are not what he expected and his methods end up doing more harm than good.

My overriding memory of the film was seeing it when the film came out during one of the then occasional extended family movie nights and having everyone complaining about the difficulty of understanding the accents. This was a British film where everyone really spoke with their regional accents. I had no real problems, except with Robbie Coltrane, who’s dialog still eludes me)

Beyond the discussion of accents the film stands out for a couple of reasons, first as I said it was the moment where I noticed Hoskins. But it was also the moment, coupled with Excalibur where I noticed Helen Mirren. It was here that I was smitten and she became an object of lust.

The film also stands out as the point where I began to notice the gritty British crime films of the 70’s and the 80’s. There was something about these neatly dressed guys running around the run down England of Thatcher that stuck with me. Of course the film is a kind of allegory on English politics at the time but it wasn’t until later that I noticed the commentary.

Ultimately though this is a damn good thriller. It stands out because what is going on isn’t what you expect people aren’t doing the same old things, there is much more going on- and world beyond the gangsters that comes to bite them on the ass. Whe you see The Long Good Friday, which you should, you’re in no danger of seeing the same old thing.

I like this film a great deal and while I haven’t seen it in ages, It still holds a warm place in my heart.

If yo want something that isn’t your typical crime film see this film.

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