Down 1,035 this week

Gangster No. 1 (2000)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  9 June 2000 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 10,647 users   Metascore: 60/100
Reviews: 128 user | 60 critic | 15 from

Chronicles the rise and fall of a prominent, and particularly ruthless English gangster.



(screenplay), (original screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 24 Feb 2012
a list of 35 titles
created 09 Mar 2012
a list of 41 titles
created 18 Mar 2013
a list of 42 titles
created 07 Jul 2013
a list of 29 titles
created 23 Sep 2014

Related Items

Search for "Gangster No. 1" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Gangster No. 1 (2000)

Gangster No. 1 (2000) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Gangster No. 1.

User Polls

1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Business (2005)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frankie decides enoughs enough with his life as a street thug living on a South London estate, and jets off to spain where he meets big time businessman Charlie who's currently running the ... See full summary »

Director: Nick Love
Stars: Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, Geoff Bell
The Reckoning II (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A priest on the lam takes up with a traveling band of actors, who then discover a murder has occurred and try to solve it by recreating the crime in a play.

Director: Paul McGuigan
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Paul Bettany, Marian Aguilera
Essex Boys (2000)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

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 ... See full summary »

Director: Terry Winsor
Stars: Charlie Creed-Miles, Sean Bean, Gareth Milne
Sexy Beast (2000)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Brutal gangster Don Logan recruits "retired" safecracker Gal for one last job, but it goes badly for both of them.

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Stars: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane
Wicker Park (2004)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young Chicago advertising executive believes a woman he sees in a café is his long-lost love. His belief leads to obsession, as he puts his life on hold in order to trail her.

Director: Paul McGuigan
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Diane Kruger, Matthew Lillard
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Three twisted tales of abuse, drugs, displaced personalities and insect life by Scottish writer Irving Welsh.

Director: Paul McGuigan
Stars: Stephen McCole, Maurice Roëves, Garry Sweeney
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A north London postman who gets involved with a gang of criminals

Directors: Dominic Anciano, Ray Burdis
Stars: Sadie Frost, Jonny Lee Miller, Jude Law
Lucky 7 (TV Series 2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Follow a group of seven gas station employees in Queens, New York, who have been chipping into a lottery pool for years, never thinking they'd actually win.

Stars: Summer Bishil, T.J. McGibbon, Kim Roberts
Face I (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ray is an aging ex-socialist who has become a bankrobber after seeing the demise of socialism in 1980s Britain. Teaming up with a gang of other has-beenish crims, he commits one bank job ... See full summary »

Director: Antonia Bird
Stars: Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone, Steve Sweeney
Push (2009)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two young Americans with special abilities must race to find a girl in Hong Kong before a shadowy government organization called Division does.

Director: Paul McGuigan
Stars: Camilla Belle, Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rise of the Footsoldier follows the inexorable rise of Carlton Leach from one of the most feared generals of the football terraces to becoming a member of a notorious gang of criminals who ... See full summary »

Director: Julian Gilbey
Stars: Ricci Harnett, Terry Stone, Craig Fairbrass
44 Inch Chest (2009)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A jealous husband and his friends plot the kidnapping of his wife's lover with the intention of restoring his wounded ego.

Director: Malcolm Venville
Stars: Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, John Hurt


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy (as Ken Cranham)
Maxie King
Cavan Clerkin ...
Fat Charlie
Trevor (as Anton Valensi)
Alex McSweeney ...
Bloke In Tailor's


A middle-aged crime boss smugly reflects back from 1999, narrating the brutality which made him triumphant - and feared. As an unnamed young hood in Swinging 60's London, he aped his mod boss Freddie Mays, and seemed to do anything for him. But his narration exposes all-consuming envy: of Freddie's supremacy, and especially his tall bird. The baby shark develops his viciousness and backstabbing, scheming to be Gangster No. 1. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There can only be ONE. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, and brief drug use and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |


Release Date:

9 June 2000 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Gangster Nr. 1  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£133,092 (UK) (9 June 2000)


$30,915 (USA) (19 July 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Loosely based on the life of real-life mobster Frankie Fraser. See more »


There is a scene where the two main actors are running around the corridors of a block of flats leading to a scene in one of the flats leading to a beating. These flats are on the Bloomsbury Estate in London. The scene is set around 1969, the estate was built in 1972/3, so wouldn't have been there. See more »


[first lines]
[song "The Good Life" begins as scene opens at boxing match; crowd noises]
Gangster 55: [laughing] What? With Scotland Yard breathing down me neck? Fuck off. Do me a favor!
See more »


Referenced in Lucky Number Slevin (2006) See more »


Va Ba Ba Boom
Written by Edward White and Edward Cooper
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Performed by Edmundo Ross
Courtesy of the Decca Record Company Ltd.
Licensed by kind permission from the Film & TV Licensing Division
Part of the Universal Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A 'Fast Take' on another gangster film...
24 September 2001 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

Ever since the release of Quentin Tarantino's crime drama 'Pulp Fiction'; it seems as if every other crime drama must reinvent itself. 'Gangster No. 1' falls into that category and while having many flaws, it still manages to capture the audience's attention with its' engaging tale.

This dark, stylish and graphic crime flick is the creation of UK director Paul McGuigan whose past efforts include 'The Acid House' and 'Morality Play'. And while it is crude, vulgar, violent and anti-climactic, it has all the characteristics one seeks for a crime film. The film opens with a stunning sequence in which a terribly miscast Malcolm McDowell retells his rise from a lonely soldier in a Crime Family to the head of the organization.

Paul Bettany plays McDowell's younger self mysteriously called Gangster 55; who does a superb job at capturing the rapturous rage of this young criminal. While working under Freddie Mays; played with an incredible sense of apathy by David Thewlis, we see Bettany/McDowell's character eye his position in this family on a much wider scale.

The film spans itself over 30 years and we see some superb performances from Paul Bettany, David Thewlis and Saffron Burrows. Yet, while the cinematography is stunning, the film's scale inventive and the performances outstanding - Malcolm McDowell is completely miscast. While his body of work displays his range and his acting skills a tremendous attribute, simply put - he was put in this film to sell to markets. Thewlis who also plays Mays thirty years into the future wears make up for his role and does a fine job, while Bettany's older self is played by McDowell and the scenes in which McDowell and Thewlis interact are quite uncomfortable because it simply does not feel right. McDowells' age difference empowers the scene and reminds us we are watching an actor with make-up, and another without - pretending to be the same age.

Furthermore, this film will not please everyone. This is the kind of film that unravels before your very eyes. Yet, the plot reveals itself not by actions but by the characters. In a slow-paced, methodical manner, the film's story unrolls in a manner that some might see as slow and unexciting. Yet, in order to enjoy the film one must immerse himself or herself within the simple plot that is brought to the screen with a touch of elegance with Director McGuigan's stylistic nature and wit.

While the film will not be hailed as one of the definitive gangster classics, it still is a good gangster film. And what could have brought it past the level of simply being a good watch is the disappointing last half-hour where our main character's older self (McDowell) is the focus of the film.

The first hour is told in flashback narrative sequences where McDowell tells of his rise. While the first hour harbors many similarities to other films such as 'American Psycho' (the slow, bloody, torturous deaths) and 'Goodfellas' the soundtrack accompanying the build up to a scene); it is entertaining and a pleasure to watch. Yet, the last half-hour culminates in Malcolm McDowell's present day stance as the notorious leader and his attempt to stay number one. Unfortunately, McDowells' performance pales incomparison to Bettany's and the unfortunate over the top performance by McDowell in a weak third act results in a good film not becoming a great film.

Rating: **

16 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Your top ten british gangster films matandocabos777
Malcolm McDowell and his accent geert1969
Best Lines what_a_fat_pigeon
Awesome film - only one gripe... mjr102
Malcolm McDowell Satellite_of_Love
music jmg4437
Discuss Gangster No. 1 (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: