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>
Mike Hodges favored the use of long-distance lenses (as he had used previously on ITV Playhouse: Rumour (1970)) in many scenes to create a naturalistic documentary feel, especially in crowd scenes. See more »
At around 1:18:30 as Jacks shoves the soggy Glenda into the boot of her car, in the top left of the screen the balding head of the driver can be seen hunched over trying not be seen in-shot. As Michael Caine didn't drive (manual transmission at least), this is presumably the person who drives the car away. See more »
What's that gun doing in your room? Suppose I phone the police, told them there's a bloke in my hotel... who's planning to shoot somebody?
You wouldn't do that.
How do you know I wouldn't?
'Cause I know you wear purple underwear.
What's that supposed to mean?
Think about it.
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If there can be anything such as a 'generic genre', then the great British gangster film must be it. But don't blame Get Carter for this, blame Madge's husband, Guy Ritchie. I saw Get Carter again recently and it must be the least dated film from the seventies ever made. This is largely because the situations, characters, settings and even fashions are so slice of life. It's a lot more convincing than a lot of the Sean Penn stuff at the moment, and even hyper-real stuff like Gummo or Julian Donkey Boy. I think this is because there's no exaggeration in Get Carter. It's not shot in some weird hicky town in the middle of nowhere, it's shot in Newcastle, one of the UK's major cities. And Get Carter tells it like it is. It is this no-nonsense style that still makes it look one of the coolest films around. Also, there aren't any heroes, which is a good thing. Well, how many 'heroes' have you met? Carter, though no hero, is a great character, make no mistake about that, and he shows just enough emotion for the audience to identify with him: like when he stumbles across his dead brother's daughter in some seedy porn film, and the whole motivation for his revenge mission in the first place. But he is a cold blooded killer too, hardened by London's gangland, and violence is his main emotional outlet in everything else - sex etc - he's pretty cool. It's not just the killers he's after, it's anyone even associated with it. And he dispatches them with a passion. "I know you didn't kill him!! I know!!" and "Goodbye ----!!" being two memorable sign offs. I really do believe this is a better film than Godfather. Godfather exists in a world most of us will never experience and is one of the best Hollywood films. Get Carter though, exists in our world, and the superb characters, acting and writing make it totally believable - even when Michael Caine walks naked out of the door of his seedy B & B with his shotgun to escort out some local hoods, the most memorable thing you remember about the scene is the previously belligerent moaning old lady neighbour scurrying into her house, terrified. Oh, and Budd's soundtrack is pure sleazy brilliance, well up to the standard of virtually everything else about the film.
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