I have to admit I like the look of 44 Inch Chest, and particularly its wall-to-wall cast of British hard men: Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Steven Berkoff and John Hurt.
John Hurt, you say, a British tough guy? Well, it's all about stunt-casting here; almost every major piece of casting works because somewhere in each actor's back catalogue is at least one meaty outing as a nasty piece of work brandishing a gun. For Hurt it was Stephen Frears's mid-80s Spanish revenger's road-movie The Hit.
Ian McShane is actually a two-stage piece of stunt casting. When he was cast as the ambi-sexual crime lord in Sexy Beast, the film-makers were referencing his role as Richard Burton's gangland catamite in Villain (1971), and