7.7/10
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135 user 85 critic

The Long Good Friday (1980)

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 »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Colin
Leo Dolan ...
Phil
...
Irish Youth
Patti Love ...
Carol
...
Razors
Derek Thompson ...
Jeff
Bryan Marshall ...
Harris
...
...
Ruby Head ...
Harold's Mother
Charles Cork ...
Eric
Olivier Pierre ...
Chef
...
1st Irishman
...
2nd Irishman
Dave King ...
Parky
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Storyline

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 action, and Harold wants to know who they are. He finds out soon enough, and bloody mayhem ensues. Written by Marty Cassady <martyc@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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What should have been the greatest day of Harold's life suddenly becomes the longest. See more »


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R | See all certifications »

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2 April 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crni petak za gangstere  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To research his role, Bob Hoskins held court with real London gangsters. See more »

Goofs

Blood on Harold's shirt after his final "altercation" with Jeff. In the cabin the blood only comes to 2 or 3 buttons down from the top, when he leaves the boat it's up to his top button. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Colin: Two large Bushmills, please, darlin'.
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.78 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A long, damn good film.
20 September 2006 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

When thinking back over the decades of British gangtser films, The Long Good Friday stands out in memory. This is due to the way the story is executed and the way a certain degree of suspense is held throughout.

Everything starts off well in this film. We're shown a rather perplexing, confusing but well shot sequence involving several people and a couple of deaths over what seems to be a case of money. We hear nothing of these events until much later in the film, keeping it at the back of our minds and creating a certain shock element when we eventually realise everything that's come together.

After the dramatic introduction, everything is toned down slightly as Harold Shand (Hoskins), the man of the film, is introduced to a rather catchy theme tune. His world is also introduced to us through very good use of London iconography as we realise he's rich, got plenty of friends and also has a good looking girl; with his biggest problem seeming to be what nationality to make the chef for his next get-together. With so many faces being introduced and so much pleasurable interaction, the events that follow fuelled by great hate for Harold are rather shocking as they are surprising and that's what really kicks this film off on a good path.

What's also good about the film as well as fascinating is that it takes a certain detective route. So many crime and gangster films often use a revenge plot or a hierarchy technique whereas this one, the enemy is unknown and the hierarchy has already been climbed. He's on his own with two or three of his most trusted accomplices attempting to discover what the hell's going on and this is very interesting as we find out what they find out, and at the same time as they do creating a nice, steady, plodding feeling of consistency.

As the battles and discoveries occur whilst the film wears on, numerous desperate situations are dragged out in a gritty and entertaining way such as Harold's relationship with his girl that is starting to fall apart amongst the terror and confusion, the personal battle with the American businessmen who foil Harold on several occasions and the question marks that arise over loyalties within his own organisation, as well as disagreements with his crooked policeman colleague and rival gangs. Not only are these scenes and plot points gripping; amusing dialogue and good one-liners from Harold himself help move them along.

As the film reaches its final third and Harold gets closer to the truth, the film reminded me of the original 'Get Carter' when Jack realises who's behind it all. Our anti-hero gets more and more angry and each scene gets more and more intense, culminating in pure chaos at a race car track and a monologue of insults at the American's who, up to this point, have had Harold and his outfit rolling over for them.

With strong acting performances all round and an impressive, well paced plot; The Long Good Friday has managed to sneak into my personal favourites list and definitely withstands the test of time.


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