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Get Carter (1971)

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When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.



(screenplay), (novel)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Osborne ...
Tony Beckley ...
Peter the Dutchman
George Sewell ...
Geraldine Moffat ...
Glenda (as Geraldine Moffatt)
Dorothy White ...
Rosemarie Dunham ...
Petra Markham ...
Bryan Mosley ...
Albert Swift
Bernard Hepton ...
Terence Rigby ...


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 <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What happens when a professional killer violates the code? Get Carter! See more »


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jack rechnet ab  »

Box Office


£750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Michael Caine and Tony Beckley had previously worked together in The Italian Job (1969). Beckley's role is similar. 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 »


Edna: 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?
Jack Carter: You wouldn't do that.
Edna: How do you know I wouldn't?
Jack Carter: 'Cause I know you wear purple underwear.
Edna: What's that supposed to mean?
Jack Carter: Think about it.
See more »


Referenced in Shaft (1971) See more »


Music by M. Kansara
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

70's period piece that still cuts the mustard...
29 September 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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.

45 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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