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The Long Good Friday (1980) Poster

Trivia

Anthony Franciosa was originally cast as the Mafia boss Charlie but left after three days filming, claiming to be annoyed with the script alterations.
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Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (5)
Bob Hoskins voice was dubbed over by a Wolverhampton actor, for fear Americans wouldn't understand his London accent. After Hoskins threatened to sue Jack Gill and British Lion (the original producers before HandMade bought the rights) the dubbing was removed. He was supported by Richard Burton, Alec Guinness and Warren Beatty.
First theatrical film role for Pierce Brosnan.
Breakthrough film role for British actor Bob Hoskins.
The part of Harold Shand was written specially for Bob Hoskins.
Pierce Brosnan's part was supposed to be completely silent but he improvised one word of dialogue - "Hi".
The reason Francis Monkman's score is so loud during the final scene, drowning out any noise, is because director John Mackenzie was giving constant verbal direction to Bob Hoskins the entire time, so as to guide his acting; due to sound levels on both sides needing to sync, the producers decided to mute the whole thing and put the score over it.
In her 2008 autobiography "In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures", Helen Mirren claims that it was at her insistence that her character "Victoria" was made into a more complex character than just the stereotypical mob moll.
The film was picked up by George Harrison's Handmade Films Ltd after being slated for a television release by ITC; upon viewing his newly-purchased production for the first time, Harrison said that he'd never have approved such a violent film had "Long Good Friday" began under Handmade.
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The famous final scene of the film was in fact the very first scene to be shot. Director John MacKenzie who was driving, told Bob Hoskins the story and events of the film to come and filmed Hoskins reactions. Cinematographer Phil Meheux, was sat between the driver and passenger seat with a 1000ft magazine attached to the camera and filmed continuously until it ran out. As there was no was no way or room to light Hoskins in the interior of the car, Mehuex used a 50w light bulb, (plugged into the cigarette lighter,) on the end of the cameras matte box.
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Bob Hoskins didn't work for a year after he appeared in this movie.
This movie's theatrical release was delayed. The film was completed in 1979 but wasn't first released until the end of 1980 in November of that year.
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Apparently, real life gangsters attended the filming.
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Dexter Fletcher is the Young Lad "protecting" Harold's Car. He would co-star alongside P.H. Moriarty (Razors) many years later in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998).
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Handmade Films bought the film rights from British Lion for £850,000.
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It was voted at number 21 in the British Film Institute's list of the top 100 British films of the 20th century.
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For his performance, Bob Hoskins received a fan-letter from notorious London gangster Ronnie Kray.
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The celebrated line: "There's a lot of dignity in that... going out like a raspberry ripple", was improvised by Bob Hoskins. The original line by Barrie Keeffe was 'going out like a choc ice', but everyone agreed Hoskins' version was better.
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P.H. Moriarty and Alan Ford would both play play the main villains in Guy Ritchie gangster films. Moriarty in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Ford in Snatch (2000).
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To research his role, Bob Hoskins held court with real London gangsters.
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Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren would later co-star in Last Orders (2001). She also wrote his obituary in The Guardian.
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Helen Mirren's uncle George Dawson was a London gangster. She recalled that quite a few East-End gangsters were extras in the scene where Harold rallies his troops. "I'd be all, 'Did you ever hear of my Uncle George?' 'What, George Dawson?', they'd say. 'Yeah! He went to jail you know."
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Writer Barrie Keeffe drew on his experiences as a cub reporter for London's Stratford Express paper in the 1960s, when the Kray twins ruled the East End. He met a few criminals who ended up in small roles in the film.
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Two scenes in the film come directly from Barrie Keeffe's life: a widow lifting her veil and spitting in his face, and the story of a man being nailed to the warehouse floor. "I interviewed that man in hospital," Keeffe remembers now, "and said 'What exactly happened?' He said, "Don't you understand English, son? It was a Do It Yourself accident went wrong!'"
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Derek Thompson receives an "introducing" credit
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The actors being held upside-down in the abattoir had to keep being supported between takes to prevent them passing out.
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Harold Shand's vision about how the Isle of Dogs could make Britain proud again was based on rumblings about the redevelopment of the Docklands that Barrie Keeffe heard from council officials.
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Barrie Keeffe's first draft of the script was written in just three days, with the final version including contributions from Bob Hoskins, John MacKenzie and producer Barry Hanson. Living in a Greenwich flat at the time, Keeffe could see the derelict Docklands from his window, and his ideas entwined following a chance meeting with an Irish republican in a pub. Gangsters against terrorism soon became a going concern.
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Harold's plans for the London docks prophetically predicted the creation of Canary Wharf.
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A remake of this film, The Long Good Friday, was first announced in May 2007.
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Cameo 

Pierce Brosnan: As an Irish thug billed as 1st Irishman.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Even though it appears that Pierce Brosnan and Bob Hoskins share a car near the end of the movie, neither actor was present when the other was captured in close-up (they each worked on a separate night), so Brosnan and Hoskins never did get to actually work with one another throughout the shoot.
In the car at the film's finale, Bob Hoskins was told that the camera would be on him for five minutes non-stop.
The original title was "The Paddy Factor" but this was changed after fears that it would give away too much of the film's plot. After suggesting "Harold's Kingdom", "Havoc" and "Citadel Of Blood" the title "The Long Good Friday" was chosen, due to its similarities to Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye" and the Easter setting.
The IRA driver whose menacing eyes are seen in the rear-view mirror at the end of the film was played by the director, John Mackenzie. The menancing eyes in rear view mirror are those of actor Daragh O'Malley.
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In the scene where Harold Shand & Razors enter the town hall building to confront councillor Harris, an additional scene was filmed when both characters enter Harris' office. In the deleted scene, Razors pins Harris against the wall, brandishing a previously concealed shotgun whilst Harold looks on. This deleted scene is included in the published script, but the filmed footage has never been included in any authorised released version of the film and is believed lost. In the foreword to the published script, scriptwriter Barrie Keeffe bitterly regrets this scene being deleted by the producers for length reasons as he claimed it was his favourite scene of the entire movie.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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