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The film is based loosely around events in December 1995 that culminated in the murders of three drug dealers in Rettendon, Essex, UK. On 6th December Patrick Tate, Craig Rolfe and Tony Tucker, three drug dealers well known to the police, were lured to Workhouse Lane, Rettendon. There they were blasted to death with a shot gun while sitting in their Range Rover. They had been lured to their deaths on the pretext of a lucrative drugs deal. The three bodies were found the following morning, 7 December 1995. Written by
[Jason has just beaten up a suspected grass, kidnapped him and thrown acid in his face, getting some on his own shirt. He and Billy have driven him to a muddy river bank and left him there, screaming in agony]
And that was that. Job done. Jason needed a new shirt - and the geezer needed a new face!
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Statement in opening titles: "This story is inspired by a single true event. It left three men dead, two serving life imprisonment and another living under an assumed identity. The rest is fiction, as are all the characters." See more »
Grim, realistic gangster film, based on a true story
For those who remember the actual triple murder in Essex which inspired the film, this carries an added edge of realism. The setting - the mock-tudor nouveau riche houses of the gangsters, the Southend seafront, the freezing marshes where Billy runs for his life, are as evocative, as the true-to-life performances of Sean Bean, Alex Kingston and Tom Wilkinson. It is refreshing to see a film which portrays the underworld in all its vindictive pettiness - the little slights which turn into murderous feuds - dozens poisoned by a rogue batch of E, a young girl, dead from an overdose, casually dumped at sea...
The Hollywood view of Gangland England has been too long focused on the East End - Snatch, Long Good Friday, Lock, Stock... when real Londoners know the East End's good for curry houses, and the gangsters headed out to the Home counties years ago.
Interesting to note that several comments in the reviews of this superlative film concerned the unintelligible accents. I should point out that viewers in the UK (and Holland and most Scandinavian countries) regularly enjoy American films without the aid of subtitles, so how come you find it so hard to understand us? :) We didn't complain that the cast of Donnie Brasco or Goodfellas had New York accents, so why complain that the Essex boys have Essex accents?
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