9 items from 2015
Bob Hoskins became an actor by accident when he accompanied a friend to an audition at London’s leftwing Unity theatre in 1969, and achieved TV stardom as the doomed travelling salesman in Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven. In 1980, he became an international star in Scottish director John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday, his first major screen role, as the East End gangster Harold Shand who dreams of transforming his minor criminal empire into a legitimate enterprise by rejuvenating London’s decaying docklands and playing host to the 1988 Olympics. Hoskins’s Shand was compared favourably with Edward G Robinson’s seminal Little Caesar of 1931.
Related: Bob Hoskins: a career in pictures
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- Philip French
Throughout the supplements on Arrow’s new (rather impressive) Blu-ray edition of this landmark gangster film, nearly everyone involved speaks of their collective desire to simply make the best film they possibly could, and in many ways, The Long Good Friday is just about the most natural result of that pursuit. Nothing goes unaccounted for, the characters are all richly drawn, the narrative drive is forceful without overwhelming a chance for reflection, and there’s just enough of a mystery to the whole thing to keep the audience hooked. The satisfaction that can come from such a well-rounded, expertly-delivered film can sometimes, however, be diminished by the sheer contentedness of the thing. Life is unwieldy, unpredictable, and sometimes incomprehensible, and films that ignore those qualities in the pursuit of “perfection” can feel closed-off.
- Scott Nye
With Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) now screening in New York, London and other cities, the Independent has posted Martin Scorsese's thoughts on the classic—and on Reed, "a wonderful film artist." At Hyperallergic, John Yau writes about collages by John Ashbery and Guy Maddin. Curator Ed Halter considers the films of William Klein. Calum Marsh previews the Vittorio De Sica retrospective in Toronto. This week, London's Close-Up will re-open with a series of six films by John Cassavetes. And in the London Review of Books, Michael Wood writes about Bob Hoskins in John Mackenzie's The Long Good Friday. » - David Hudson »
The classic thriller predicted the rise of Thatcherism and the transformation of London’s Docklands into an area of unbridled commerce. For the re-release of the film, I revisited the streets where mobsters once ran wild
At the start of The Long Good Friday, Harold Shand flew in on Concorde. Shand was old-school: a London ganglord played by Bob Hoskins, back home after a New York business trip to find his empire being gutted.
Now, to revisit Harold’s world, I’m listening to the driverless hum of the Docklands Light Railway (Dlr), gently jolting through east London above the endless juliet balconies of new-build flats. Neither the Dlr nor the flats were here in June 1979, when Hoskins and director John Mackenzie started work on a modestly scaled British crime thriller that would become one of the most darkly momentous films that Britain ever made. So, on another sunlit early summer day, »
- Danny Leigh
Director: John Mackenzie
Running Time: 116 minutes
Last year we lost the brilliant Bob Hoskins to the void. The British actor known for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mermaids, Hook and Super Mario Bros was sadly lost to Pneumonia. Whilst better known for these big budget studio movies Hoskins is beloved by many in the UK for his turns in Mona Lisa and The Long Good Friday, and though he may be sorely missed both of these gems are getting the special edition treatment this year. We may still have a little while to wait for Mona Lisa but as of Monday 4th May you can own anniversary edition of The Long Good Friday.
This isn’t just an old film that has been stuffed onto a disc with a couple of trailers, oh no, Arrow Films have painstakingly overseen a fully film restoration and shifted »
- Kat Smith
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, P.H. Moriarty, Kevin McNally, Alan Ford, Dave King, Bryan Marshall, Derek Thompson, Eddie Constantine, Paul Freeman, Leo Dolan, Patti Love, Pierce Brosnan | Written by Barrie Keeffe | Directed by John Mackenzie
The gangster movie is a beast very like the gangs it is based on. Depending on the country of origin the crime organisations tend to have certain looks and style and a certain tradition that they cling to as their laws of how to do business. The modern gangster movies are definitely an example of this, but they also share one thing in common, they lend a lot from The Long Good Friday which gets the Arrow Video treatment with its new release on Blu-ray.
Harold (Bob Hoskins) is a British gangster with an eye to capitalism and being a successful business man. Seeing London as his empire he is taken aback at the incredulous »
- Paul Metcalf
The Long Good Friday, 1980.
Directed by John Mackenzie.
A ruthless English gangster’s empire starts to fall after a series of bombings over the Easter weekend.
Britain has always made good gangster films but there was always an angle to them, a little something that the filmmakers honed in on so they offered slightly more than the ultra-violent mob movies coming out of America. But in 1980 The Long Good Friday arrived and gave British crime movies a new, for the UK anyway, edge; a gangster film that was actually about gangsters and what they do.
But despite the gritty nature of the script and the raw production values it was the central performance by a then relatively unknown Bob Hoskins as Harold »
- Gary Collinson
One of my favourite films of all time has to be the fantastic 1980s London-set gangster film The Long Good Friday. The film, which starred the late Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and Paul Freeman, still stands up today, 35 years on from its original, acclaimed release.
The epic gangster movie is getting a limited cinema re-release on the 19th June through Arrow Films, and below, we have an exclusive look at the theatrical trailer for the 35th Anniversary Edition, which has a high-quality 2k digital restoration.
Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) is a businessman with great ambitions. Spotting the development potential of London’s derelict Docklands area years before the Thatcher government, he tries to broker a deal with his American counterpart (Eddie Constantine) that will make them both millions. But who is killing Harold’s other associates and blowing up his businesses – and why?
Universally regarded as one of the greatest British gangster films ever made, »
- Paul Heath
Running Time: 118 mins
Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Trailers
At the end of gangster film The Long Good Friday, there’s a famous sequence where Bob Hoskins is captured in a close-up static shot as he sits in the back of a car. The character awaits a grisly fate at the hands of the Ira and over the course of a few minutes we see nothing but his expectant face. When Hoskins asked the director what he should be thinking, John Mackenzie suggested he try working out what was going on in the plot. An unusual way to begin this review perhaps but in my view pertinent, for documentary Manakamana adopts a similar approach to a completely different subject. The piece is composed of a series of locked-off shots depicting ten minute cable car trips over the Nepalese mountains by pilgrims on »
- Steve Palace
9 items from 2015
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