Gangster No. 1 (2000)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  9 June 2000 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 10,726 users   Metascore: 60/100
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Chronicles the rise and fall of a prominent, and particularly ruthless English gangster.



(screenplay), (original screenplay), 1 more credit »
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1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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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:



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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?


The two actors who play the "gangster" at the two points in his life are 7 inches different in height. See more »


The scene where a man is hanging from the balcony of a large block of flats was filmed on the Heygate estate in London. Work on this estate did not begin until around 1970 and the estate was not complete until 1974. Even then, it would have taken another year or two to populate the estate. There is a similar estate just down the road called the Aylesbury, but that wasn't completed until much later. 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 »


References King Kong (1933) See more »


Mercy Mercy Mercy
Written by Joseph Zawinul (as Josef Zawinul), Gail Levy and Vincent Levy
Published by Zawinul Music (BMI)
Performed by Saffron Burrows
See more »

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User Reviews

My brief review of the film
6 April 2005 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

The story might be rather ordinary and it may become less interesting after the first hour or so, but this is generally intriguing stuff. The film is effectively narrated and performed by Malcolm McDowell, but Paul Bettany is the one who really shines here, replicating McDowell's charisma as an uncaring and violent youth, whilst also injecting some of his own spirit into his character. The film is rather clever in fact with how it uses McDowell and what he has come to stand for, with a number of interesting echoes of A Clockwork Orange throughout the film. The biggest problem that I found in the whole production was that the flashbacks to the 1960s looked just like the present with no feel for the era. But really, other than that and a story that is not out of the ordinary, this is a well made film with an interesting visual and audio style, and quality acting to top it all off.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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