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  1. #1
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    I'm writing an essay on The Long Good Friday as an allegory of Thatcherism. Does anyone have any ideas?



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    "As Michael Caine says: 'There's been three gangster films come out of this country: good'uns. I made one, Hoskins made the other and we both made the third.' What was extraordinary about it at that time, was that we were just on the verge of Thatcherism. It was bang up to date. It hail the nail so firmly on the head, of where the Eighties were gonna go."



    Bob Hoskins

  3. #3
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    I don't know if The Long Good Friday was making any kind of statement about Thatcher's government or the values of the 80's - if even there was such a thing.



    Hoskins was on top form as a vicious thug in the movie but for me, it was spoiled by the plot with the IRA bad guys shown as being omnipotent .



    I found the potrayal of Irish terrorism in such a way depressing.



    Caine was wrong, there was another great British gangster movie - Richard Burton's "Villian".

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Apart from perhaps Harold's early entrepreneurial attempts to sell Docklands property for regeneration I can't see many connections with Thatcher-era Britain.



    Mona Lisa is the real London gangster film of an economically depressed underclass.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Why I'm mad about ...The long good Friday



    Ian Nathan on a brutish British gangster masterpiece

    It may seem perverse to start an appreciation of a movie by citing its ultimate scene -¯ and a bit of a giveaway, so jump to the second paragraph if you wish - but the final note of this brutal gangster story is so moving, original and desolate that it encompasses everything that makes the film so mighty. Bob Hoskins's Harold Shand has finally been cornered by his elusive foe and slung into the back of his car while the camera stays stock still on his face as he journeys to a fateful, unseen demise. Over two minutes, as Francis Monkman's sexy jazzy score slides in, Hoskins runs a sublime, silent gamut of emotions across his broad bulldog face: fury, fear, confusion and a kind of serenity, as he realises that the game is up.

    It would be heartbreaking for a generation of film lovers to judge the British gangster tradition by the tawdry froth of Guy Ritchie's graceless output. Just this one scene from The Long Good Friday is enough to reveal its mythic power, infused with something harder, earthier and more brittle than even The Godfather induced. This is not simply a Shakespearean tragedy set amid the seedy gangs of London in the early 1980s, but a depiction of a Britain losing a sense of itself as Thatcher rose to sweep away the old guard and the European Community began its merry dance.

    Shand, a wily thug who has risen to the rule the roost, has entrepreneurial designs and so encourages the American Mafia to take a slice of his desolate Docklands real estate. Over an Easter weekend, someone has taken to bombing his pubs and murdering his lieutenants -¯ his world is falling apart.

    The director, John Mackenzie, and the writer, Barry Keef, transcend simple gangster cliches. Away from the taut Thatcherism, which Shand epitomises, they align the violent means of his brood of gangland heavies with the avaricious businesses on the up.

    That the film remains so credible is down to the performances. From Casualty's Derek Thompson and a baby-faced Pierce Brosnan to Helen Mirren, their lines feel knuckle-hard and vital. Then there is Hoskins's Shand: part Napoleonic fireball, part forlorn Macbeth, he is a battering-ram of seething emotion and, for all the bodies draped across meathooks, humanity. He cuts a strangely vulnerable figure, a feral man who aspires to something for ever beyond his reach. His flaw is his search for respectability and legitimacy. It presents the film with an ironically moral centre, while the mesmerising Hoskins grips our sympathies to the bitter end, rendered speechless but saying everything through those final aching moments.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: United States theuofc's Avatar
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    Great review of Long Good Friday. Thanks for posting it. That movie wears very well.



    Barbara

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure how Harold epitomised Thatcherism.



    At the end of the film he saw his future in Europe and not with an American alliance. This is closer to Edward Heath's vision rather than Thatcher's rather cautious approach.

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    Classic film!!

    Just got hold of the DVD with a superb interview of Bob Hoskins and John McKenzie by Richard Jobson.

    Talk of a sequel was on the agenda, i really hope not.

    Epitomise Thatcherism? Not Harold Shand.

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    Bloody great British move making! A film that i never tire of. A superb cast, some great dialogue, well used brutal violence and a fine score.



    Hoskins is stunning for sure, but the entire cast is a joy! Finely crafted Gangsterism.



    Shame the 'Anchor Bay' DVD is not as goos as it should have been.

    The film is badly cropped thanks to the anamorphic process. Most damaging is the loss of the bottom of the picture when Brosnan pulls the knife from Colin, resulting in a lesseoning of the scene's violent impact.



    This version also has some strange overdubs. The biggest being when Harold tells Razors and Jeff about his and Colins stint in the Army.

    This is the only versi0on i have ever seen that changes the dialogue. fans will notice instantly.

    An example is the original "...Used to have to hump a bleedin great radio" line now changes "radio" to "Bazooka"!!



    [ 07. October 2004, 02:31: Message edited by: 42ndStreetFreak ]

  10. #10
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    Hi all,



    I watched BBC4's Cast and Crew about The Long Good Friday last night. In it Hoskins explained how Lew Grade's people hated the finished film. They ended up dubbing Hoskins character (Harold Shand) with a Birmingham accent (I think?). This all got legal and eventually a settlement was reached in which the makers acquired the film, backed by Handmade Productions (George Harrison). In the settlement it was agreed that the dubbed version was destroyed. My question is do any copies of the dubbed version survive?



    Cheers,

    A

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    What an ending.



    When I first saw this film - way back in the mid 1980s - the final few minutes just blew me away.



    I've seen it several times since, and - unfortunately - it's lost a lot of its impact. This is only to be expected, I suppose. But for such an amazing "Oh, my GOD!!" ending, it stands head and shoulders above more recent Brit gangster films.

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    (djdave @ Mar 27 2006, 10:04 PM)

    What an ending.



    When I first saw this film - way back in the mid 1980s - the final few minutes just blew me away.



    I've seen it several times since, and - unfortunately - it's lost a lot of its impact. This is only to be expected, I suppose. But for such an amazing "Oh, my GOD!!" ending, it stands head and shoulders above more recent Brit gangster films.
    Absolutely, Dave "The Long Good Friday" is one of my favorite gangster films. And how about the gorgeous Helen Mirren? Sizzle ... and also a fine actress. I love the scene where she hauls off and slaps him one to snap him out of it and then holds and comforts him. Memorable. What's not to applaud about that well-done film.



    Best,



    Barbara

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    Apparantly, at the time the film was made, they were toying with the idea of a sequel.

    My understanding is that the idea was for the Jaguar to run out of petrol. I kid you not. Then Harold was supposed to end up in America - I can't remember the details of how - where he attempts to rebuild his criminal empire. Completely bonkers, I know....

    Incidentally, in the famous car scene at the end, the camera man was sat where Pierce Brosnan's character was sat - Brosnan and Hoskins filmed their bits separately - with the sound man in the boot and the director driving!! According to something I saw on BBC 2, he was instructing Hoskins when he should have had his eyes on the road....

    Interesting also how Sir Lew Grade's ITC got cold feet and dropped the project because of its IRA content. Then George Harrison's Handmade Films picked it up, but he didn't really know what he was buying.

    Nevertheless, a fantastic film...and I agree totally thatFfrancis Monkman's music - where is he now? - adds immeasurably to the ending.

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    I just watched this movie tonight with my son and loved it.

    What was all the building going on by the Thames,and what did it eventually turn out to be ?

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    (claudia @ Apr 11 2006, 06:20 AM)

    I just watched this movie tonight with my son and loved it.

    What was all the building going on by the Thames,and what did it eventually turn out to be ?
    Glad you both enjoyed the film, Claudia.

    My memory might be playing tricks, but I seem to remember reading/hearing that some of the Thames and Thames-side filming with Harold's boat was done somewhere else.



    If - and I say if - I remember correctly, it was someplace like Glasgow. So the building work you refer to may have not been in London at all. However, they certainly did film on the Thames - St Katherine's Dock and Wapping - so it may have been.



    But in the last 25 years that whole stretch of riverside from the Tower of London downstream has been redeveloped to a greater or lesser extent - into apartments and offices and shops - Canary Wharf being a good example..



    It's ironic, really, that Harold's plans involved the Olympics and now London is going to stage the Olympics.



    What about the ending, though? Wasn't it fantastic?

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    (claudia @ Apr 11 2006, 06:20 AM)

    I just watched this movie tonight with my son and loved it.

    What was all the building going on by the Thames,and what did it eventually turn out to be ?
    I think it's a great film but I think you have to leave a few years between viewings.



    I was going out with a chambermaid at the time who worked at The Tower Hotel adjacent to Tower Bridge, and this hotel appeared in many TV programmes of the era and also in the motion picture film Sweeney. Across the water from there was St Catherine's Dock (I think) and nestled amongst the disused derelict dockside warehouses there was a pub called The Dickens something or other, which set the trend for modern pubs up to the present day in that it was a converted barn-like building selling loads of different beers and decent food, with basic fixtures and wooden floors.



    I've been along parts of the river in recent years and it looks like just about everything on the waterfront or in the small side docks has been redeveloped into offices or expensive apartment blocks, and so Harold Shand's vision did come true! He's probably propping up one of them in a concrete overcoat!

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    I think it has one of the most stunning endings in movie history.

    It just sucker punched me.



    A masterpiece.

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    (samkydd @ Apr 11 2006, 05:09 PM)

    I think it's a great film but I think you have to leave a few years between viewings.



    I was going out with a chambermaid at the time who worked at The Tower Hotel adjacent to Tower Bridge, and this hotel appeared in many TV programmes of the era and also in the motion picture film Sweeney. Across the water from there was St Catherine's Dock (I think) and nestled amongst the disused derelict dockside warehouses there was a pub called The Dickens something or other, which set the trend for modern pubs up to the present day in that it was a converted barn-like building selling loads of different beers and decent food, with basic fixtures and wooden floors.



    I've been along parts of the river in recent years and it looks like just about everything on the waterfront or in the small side docks has been redeveloped into offices or expensive apartment blocks, and so Harold Shand's vision did come true! He's probably propping up one of them in a concrete overcoat.
    I totally agree, it is an excellent and very powerful film. I think it affects many viewers the first time they see it.



    You're right Sam. A lot of the film was made around the St.Catherine's Dock area in Wapping, London.



    Dave.

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    (djdave @ Apr 11 2006, 09:43 AM)

    Glad you both enjoyed the film, Claudia.



    My memory might be playing tricks, but I seem to remember reading/hearing that some of the Thames and Thames-side filming with Harold's boat was done somewhere else.



    If - and I say if - I remember correctly, it was someplace like Glasgow. So the building work you refer to may have not been in London at all. However, they certainly did film on the Thames - St Katherine's Dock and Wapping - so it may have been.



    But in the last 25 years that whole stretch of riverside from the Tower of London downstream has been redeveloped to a greater or lesser extent - into apartments and offices and shops - Canary Wharf being a good example..



    It's ironic, really, that Harold's plans involved the Olympics and now London is going to stage the Olympics.



    What about the ending, though? Wasn't it fantastic?
    The idea of H finally getting what he wants in the teeth of Councillor Harris, the IRA, the Mafia and good ol' Charlie from Casualty is a sweet idea indeed. Did Bob Hoskins do anything as good as this since or did the famously framed Roger Rabbit do for him?



    L de...

  20. #20
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    (djdave @ Apr 11 2006, 08:43 AM)

    What about the ending, though? Wasn't it fantastic?
    It's similar to Get Carter in that the "hero" gets what's coming to him and although, just like Carter, Shand is a scum of the earth bully boy who you'd dearly love to spend 10 minutes alone with in a soundproofed room with a baseball bat, despite their flaws you sort of want them to succeed and come through it unscathed.



    This is very skillful writing and acting, and as the audience you reluctantly find yourself feeling sympathetic towards both characters and no matter how much you loathe their type, their enemies become your enemy because the evil things they've been getting up to are far worse than anything Shand and Carter are guilty of.

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