Years ago, Jack Carter left his Seattle home to become a Las Vegas mob casino financial enforcer. He returns for the funeral of his brother Richard 'Richie' after a car crash during a storm... See full summary »
Rachael Leigh Cook,
Harold, a prosperous English gangster, is about to close a lucrative new deal when bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places. A mysterious syndicate is trying to muscle in on his ... See full summary »
A vicious London gangster, Jack Carter, travels to Newcastle for his brother's funeral. He begins to suspect that his brother's death was not an accident and sets out to follow a complex trail of lies, deceit, cover-ups and backhanders through Newcastle's underworld, leading, he hopes, to the man who ordered his brother killed. Because of his ruthlessness Carter exhibits all the unstopability of the android in Terminator, or Walker in Point Blank, and he and the other characters in the film are prone to sudden, brutal acts of violence. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
"Not long after Get Carter (1971) was released, Michael Caine was in the West End and came across the gangster Jack Carter whose life the film was based upon. He was highly critical of the film, saying there is no gangster in the world like Jack Carter. He didn't have a wife, children or responsibilities of any kind. Rather than start an incident, Caine agreed with everything he said." Unfortunately, although entertaining, this is utter rubbish from start to finish! 1) Get Carter is fiction, based upon a novel by the late Ted Lewis. NOT a 'real' gangster called Jack Carter. (In fact, the novel doesn't even mention Newcastle, but was set in a generic northern town.) And it WASN'T based on the infamous Newcastle 'One Armed Bandit Murder' of the late '60s either, as urban myths would have you believe! 2) One of the many contradictory anecdotes told by Caine is that, coming from Elephant and Castle, South London, he did know gangsters, and the few conversations about the film that he had with them, were generally complimentary in their analysis, although he has mentioned about the character Carter being criticized for having no family, or responsibilities. However, he has also misquoted his own character on many occasions, and told many contradictory anecdotes about the film. 3) As alluded to, the film is an amalgam of the novel, and various underworld practices prevalent at the time. Two brothers running a powerful organized crime outfit. Illicit pornography. A feared enforcer etc, etc. In spite of the film featuring a certain John Bindon, and the home of Kinnear in reality being the former country house of Vince Landa, (he of the 'One Armed Bandit' outfit), where the notorious parties took place, THERE WAS NO 'REAL' Jack Carter, and Caine didn't 'come across' him, regardless of Caine's chosen account of the day. Sometimes the facts are less entertaining than a good yarn. See more »
As Carter (Michael Caine) checks each stall in the men's room while searching for Thorpe, one can see on the wall at the end of the men's room the shadow not only of Carter, but also that of the cameraman filming the scene. See more »
Strongman and enforcer Jack Carter (Michael Caine) returns to his native North East (of England) to investigate the suspicious death of his brother. Here he encounter a world of sleaze, booze, violence, casual sex and people in search of easy money.
Hard to call it a classic early British gangster film given that they were so few around, but more a cracking thriller that makes full use of its cast, plot and (unusual) Newcastle Upon Tyne location.
Writer-Director Mike Hodges wanted violence with reality and he delivers it with real punch. Unlike most thrillers bystanders are not immune from the action and at various stages harsh punishment is handed out for minor crimes by anti-hero Caine.
Caine underplays his hardman role nicely - letting the action, rather than his emotions, tell the story.
Several people claim real-life events "inspired" this story, but as far as I can tell the only direct reference to real events is that the one-arm bandit business started to earn big money (in the North East) and London gangsters "wanted in." That lead to bloodshed, but that is not the thrust of this film
although one of the main characters is, indeed, in that
Having gone to the trouble of reading the screenplay, I was surprised how thin the dialogue was. This is a good example of how it is better to "show" things rather than "tell." I did learn, however, that the thugs that come to beat Caine up are supposed to be gay - one may wear a pink neckerchief but I thought that was just the dandy fashions of the day!
Those that are not familiar with Newcastle may also like to note that the place is nowhere near the sea, in case you decide to take a holiday up there and are thinking of packing your trunks!
On release the film did well enough in the UK, but died a death in the USA due to being released as a double bill with Dirty Dingus Magee: A terrible Frank Sinatra movie.
If you like hard-edged thrillers that don't play nice then Get Carter may well be worth your time and effort.
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