’THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY’, (1980)
’WHO LIT THE FUSE THAT TORE HAROLD’S WORLD APART…?'
In my book, this has to be not only one of the best British films ever made, but also one of the very best gangster films ever to grace the screen…‘Bloody marvellous!’.
The ever-reliable Bob Hoskins was born to play the role of Harold Shand; a Londoner, a gangster, and a man whose ‘empire’ is turned upside down on one memorable Good Friday.
Bombings, lucrative deals with the Mafia, a marvellous soundtrack by Francis Monkman, plus a generous measure of great London locations and topped with reliable British character actors, ‘Friday’ is a delight to savour time, and time, and time again.
With a cast consisting of Bob, Helen Mirren, Derek Thompson, Dave King, Eddie Constantine, and Bryan Marshall, this slice of Thatcher’s Britain is a must-see - most ably directed by John MacKenzie (‘The Fourth Protocol’), and packed to the gills with intrigue, humour, suspense, and thespians of the highest order.
Above all, a film must have a memorable conclusion - an end that hibernates in the memory long after the cinema curtain closes - ‘The Long Good Friday’ has such an ending, that not only hibernates, but also germinates long after the last iconic scene fades.
If you haven’t seen this film, then I would urge you to obtain a copy. The one I watched was a beautifully restored 2K bluray steelbook, courtesy of ‘Arrow’ - containing a booklet of ‘cockney rhyming slang glossary’ for those who don’t understand gangster chat…
Harold Shand: "What I’m looking for is someone who can contribute to what England has given to the world: culture, sophistication, genius. A little bit more than an 'ot dog, know what I mean?"
As previously mentioned, Francis Monkman (who was the founding member of ‘Sky’), supplies the requisite amazing soundtrack…
Everything about this film - IMHO - is perfeck!!
Pool Attendant: They kept it all incognito. They’re gonna collect the body in an ice cream van.
Harold: There’s a lot of dignity in that, isn’t there? Going out like a raspberry ripple.