Bob Hoskins, in his breakthrough film role, stars as a London racketeer fast losing control of his gangland empire; Helen Mirren shines as his classy moll. John Mackenzie's stylish thriller is a marriage of gangster flicks... more » from both sides of the Atlantic. Criterion presents The Long Good Friday in an exclusive widescreen transfer.« less
Must see high powered and provacative British gangster epic
P. Ferrigno | Melbourne, Victoria Australia | 12/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Talented English director John MacKenzie knew that the English gangster genre needed a good shot in the arm...and he delivered the goods with this tightly scripted and brilliantly acted crime drama.Bob Hoskins is outstanding as London mob boss, Harold Shand...masterminding a major construction development along the river Thames that will nett him, and his American backers, millions of pounds. Shand has everyone on his payroll...politicians, police and enforcers...but then suddenly everything starts to unravel, and Harolds world turns upside down in the space of a day. MacKenzie's film moves with intent and purpose and Barrie O'Keeffe's screenplay keeps the suspense at a finely tuned pitch. A terrific support cast headed by the sulrty Helen Mirren as Harold's wife, Victoria....Derek Thompson as the cowardly, opportunist Jeff....P.H. Moriarty as the aptly named bodyguard "Razors"....and Bryan Marshall as the drunken councillor, Harris, further contribute to the success of this challenging film. Clever use of authentic London locations and creative cinematography lend a further hand to enhance the claustraphobic atmoshpere closing in upon Harold Shand and his crew...the viewer really feels through Hoskins emotional range, the unnerving pressure that is causing him to come apart at the seams. Excellent transfer to DVD...sound and color both superb...it's a pity that Criterion didn't add a few extra goodies that they usually package with their fine presentations.A solidly crafted, gripping film with A grade performances by a splendid English cast...and keep your eyes open for a very youthful Pierce Brosnan in a minor role.FOOTNOTE : MacKenzie also made another powerful movie three years prior in 1979 called "A Sense of Freedom"...based on the true story of Glasgow gangster, Jimmy Boyle, and his life in jail and out. It's a harrowing, gritty prison film that doesn't pull it's punches...unfortunately it's not on video or DVD at present...but hopefully it will return. Another A class crime film !!"
Good Gangster Flick
jones5000 | Wash., DC (USA) | 12/11/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know this for sure, but the Criterion edition of The Long Good Friday is probably the only halfway decent edition of the film available. The story itself is really good, but the DVD leaves a LOT to be desired. First, it is poor quality mono. Second, there are NO subtitles in ANY language. I had much difficulty understanding the mostly "cockney" English, doubly difficult due to significant audio distortion at most all audio levels! If it weren't for the fact that the story is so absorbing, and I am a big fan of Bob Hoskins, I probably would not have been able to sustain an interest to watch the DVD through to the end. But I did! However, I have to watch it at least one more time to catch all the dialogue I missed the first time!!! Also, although the picture quality was mostly decent, the DVD contained many white splotches (original film deterioration?) that most likely could and should have been cleaned up with more attention by Criterion, especially since Criterion provided NO extras (except for a couple of trailers) with this edition. Why are Criterion's prices so high for bare minimum and, in this case, average technical quality DVDs? Objections aside, this is an intriguing ganster flick!"
STILL "EXPLOSIVE" AFTER 24 YEARS!
Shashank Tripathi | Gadabout | 03/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The second best ever Brit gangster movie is a brilliant energy-filled piece. Ritchie's "Lock, Stock..." is fine if you want a jokey gangster film bailed out by lucky coincidences, but this is the real thing, believable and intelligent. What really raises this movie into the stratosphere is the bravura performance by Bob 'Oskins. The much-praised ending is riveting. Surely it's the most dazzling display of an actor's craft to hold in close facial shot for a prolonged time showing a variety of emotions cross the features? Hoskins does this to perfection, showing (at least) disbelief, anger, realization, fear, grim amusement and acceptance over a 90 second period, all the while set to pounding soundtrack and flickering lighting from passing streetlamps. If you haven't seen this, do yourself a favor and buy the excellent DVD which also has some neat features."
Gangster movie par excellence
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 06/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a helluva call to make but I would consider this my all time favourite gangster movie - if The Godfather trilogy is the Shakespeare of gangster films, and Scarface is the Opera of gangster films then THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY is the Dickens of Gangster films with some Jacobean tragedy overtones. It says as much as any film about the Irish determination to wage terror in their quest for justice; it is rich in the class issues that bedevil English society; it touches on immigration issues; it understands thed power and potential for corruption in local government; it highlights the cultural cringe the UK has for Hollywod -the use of Eddie Constantine as a visiting gangster from the USA is a master stroke - he can't get out of England fast enough, so pervasive is the violence, so dangerous is the place- he likens it to a war zone; but this also highlights another theme: as in so many things Harold (played brilliantly by Bob Hoskins) is constantly looking to the past in terms of the greatness of the "British Empire" and the trappings of the past - a Rolls Royce (which is blown up), the Church (to which only his ageing mother goes), and the gentry (his partner who is taken from him, played by the great Ms Helen Mirrem. There are many highlights - Harold's temper is one such and he loses it from time to time using a broken bottle to give the face of one his lieutenants a Jacobean makeover, but the final minutes when the camera rests on his face as he is unexpectedly driven off into the night by the Irish and we read in his silent face the surprise, anger, rage, dawning realisation of his fate, acceptance, and defiance all flashing across his features, we see cinema acting at its very finest. Not a moment that should be cut in this film. And how many films can we say that about? A small but rich masterpiece and one of the the finest gangster films ever made."
Great film, shame about the dubbing.
Mr. H. Gallagher | 12/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Am i the only person to notice the shameless dubbing of a great film. I originally purchased the Region 2 version.Special Edition! I naturally expected the full uncut, un-edited, and certainly ud-dubbed version to be there.When the Criterion version came out i expected more but unfortunately it was the same. The worst part is that in the extras in an interview with Bob Hoskins and Barrie O'Keefe,Hoskins tells of how horrified he was on first seeing the original version released by the American studio and how they had dubbed his own voice to make him sound like 'a Geordie'(thats someone from Newcastle for any Americans who may be reading ).He was so outraged he threatened to sue the company.Eventually he managed to persuade Hand Made Films to buy the rights from the original owners.The only way to see the film as it was supposed to be seen is on VHS"