IMDb > Gangster No. 1 (2000)
Gangster No. 1
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Gangster No. 1 (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Johnny Ferguson (screenplay) and
Louis Mellis (original screenplay)
View company contact information for Gangster No. 1 on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 June 2000 (Ireland) See more »
There can only be ONE. See more »
Chronicles the rise and fall of a prominent, and particularly ruthless English gangster. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Very good, under-rated and LIMEY-like. See more (125 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Malcolm McDowell ... Gangster 55

David Thewlis ... Freddie Mays

Paul Bettany ... Young Gangster

Saffron Burrows ... Karen

Kenneth Cranham ... Tommy (as Ken Cranham)

Jamie Foreman ... Lennie Taylor

Eddie Marsan ... Eddie Miller

Andrew Lincoln ... Maxie King

Doug Allen ... Mad John

Razaaq Adoti ... Roland
Cavan Clerkin ... Billy

David Kennedy ... Fat Charlie

Johnny Harris ... Derek

Anton Saunders ... Trevor (as Anton Valensi)
Alex McSweeney ... Bloke In Tailor's
Martin Wimbush ... Judge
Binky Baker ... Dodgy Geezer
Martyn Read ... Rough Diamond
Johnnie Ould ... Scarey
Don McCorkindale ... Smashing Bloke
Ralph Collis ... Stocky
Charles Anderson ... Brute
Arthur Nightingale ... Toilet Attendant
Jack Pierce ... Jack The Lad
Emma Griffiths Malin ... Julie (as Emma Griffiths-Malin)
Gary McCormack ... Giggler Bennett

Sean Chapman ... Bent Cop
Georgina Bull ... Fat Charlie's Girl
Jo-Anne Nighy ... Roland's Girl #1

Simone Bowkett ... Roland's Girl #2
Caroline Pegg ... Flo
Mark Montgomerie ... Thug Car #1
Dave Ould ... Eric
Lisa Ellis ... Waitress
Simon Marc ... Freddie's Attacker
Tony Denham ... Club Manager
Nadine Leonard ... Mel
Jo McInnes ... Lesley

Lorraine Stanley ... Attacker's Friend
Wayne Matthews ... Youth 1
Tony Bowers ... Youth 2
Danny Webster ... Youth 3
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ian Boo Khoo ... Gambler (uncredited)

João Costa Menezes ... Witness (uncredited)
Lance Patrick ... Witness - Snooker player (uncredited)
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Directed by
Paul McGuigan 
Writing credits
Johnny Ferguson (screenplay adaptation)

Louis Mellis  original screenplay
David Scinto  original screenplay

Produced by
Nicky Kentish Barnes .... co-producer
Peter Bowles .... executive producer
Karsten Brünig .... co-producer
Karsten Brünig .... line producer: Germany
Jonathan Cavendish .... producer
Ulrich Felsberg .... co-producer
Norma Heyman .... producer
Sheila Fraser Milne .... line producer: additional photography
Original Music by
John Dankworth (music composed by)
Cinematography by
Peter Sova (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Andrew Hulme 
Casting by
Jina Jay 
Production Design by
Richard Bridgland 
Art Direction by
Philip Elton 
Sebastian T. Krawinkel 
Set Decoration by
Penny Crawford 
Costume Design by
Jany Temime 
Makeup Department
Caroline Hamilton .... hair artist
Caroline Hamilton .... makeup artist
Susan Howard .... crowd makeup artist
Terry Jarvis .... wig maker
Fiona Maynard .... hair artist
Fiona Maynard .... makeup artist
Jenny Shircore .... hair designer
Jenny Shircore .... makeup designer
Norma Webb .... chief hair artist
Norma Webb .... chief makeup artist
Production Management
Stephen Barker .... post-production supervisor (as Steve Barker)
Elinor Day .... executive in charge of production: Film Four
Jo Farr .... production manager
Ralph Remstedt .... production manager: Germany
Claire Tovey .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chris Carreras .... first assistant director
Mark Fenn .... first assistant director: second unit
Robert Grayson .... second assistant director (as Robert P. Grayson)
Viviane Kriebisch .... third assistant director: Germany
Simon Moseley .... first assistant director: second unit (as Simon Mosely)
Davina Nicholson .... first assistant director: additional photography
Fiona Richards .... third assistant director
Waldo Roeg .... first assistant director: second unit
Sue Wood .... crowd assistant director (as Susan Wood)
Art Department
Les Andrews .... stand-by
Dave Ball .... carpenter
Richard Burnett .... stand-by carpenter
Marlon Cole .... props storeman
Amanda Craggs .... art department runner
Derek Ede .... stagehand
Peter Edge .... painter
Lee Edwards .... carpenter
Stephen Forrest-Smith .... storyboard artist (as Steve Forrest Smith)
Ian Fryer .... dressing props
Mark Geeson .... trainee propman
Peter Grove .... carpenter
Gary Hedges .... supervising carpenter
Matthias Hein .... swing gang: Germany
Danny Hunter .... property master
Stuart Kearns .... draughtsman
Abdalla Khalafalla .... set dresser: Germany
Sebastian T. Krawinkel .... art director: Germany (as Sebastian Krawinkel)
Tamo Kunz .... chargeman: Germany
Steve Mitchell .... scenic painter
Brian Morris .... painter
Brian Muir .... sculptor
Jamie Muir .... stagehand
Colin Mutch .... stand-by chargehand
Michael Nitsche .... swing gang: Germany
Alexander Oberlis .... swing gang: Germany
Magdi Osman .... set dresser: Germany
Alan Payne .... graphic designer
Michael Pelham .... painter
John Roberts .... supervising painter
Michael Simpson .... carpenter
Linda Stefansdottir .... first assistant art director
Jessie Walker-Stewart .... propmaker (as Jess Walker-Stewart)
Burt Wilson .... stand-by painter
Debbie Wilson .... production buyer
Dennis Wilson .... construction manager (as Denis Wilson)
Kevin Woodhouse .... art department assistant
Helen Xenopoulos .... draughtsman
Sound Department
Tim Alban .... sound re-recording mixer
Peter Baldock .... supervising sound editor
Ben Barker .... foley editor
Jens Christensen .... adr mixer
Andie Derrick .... foley artist
Gillian Dodders .... adr editor
Gillian Dodders .... dialogue editor
Steve Finn .... boom operator (as Stephen Finn)
Steve Finn .... sound maintenance (as Stephen Finn)
Simon Fisher-Turner .... sound designer (as Simon Fisher Turner)
Andrew Halley .... playback operator
Nina Hartstone .... foley editor
Kate Morath .... boom operator: additional photography
James Seddon .... dolby consultant
Andrew Stirk .... dubbing assistant
John Taylor .... sound recordist
Martin Trevis .... sound recordist: additional photography
Special Effects by
Neil Davies .... special effects technician
David Harris .... special effects supervisor (as Dave Harris)
Jude Harris .... special effects technician
Matthew Horton .... special effects technician
Graham Longhurst .... special effects: additional photography
Darren May .... special effects technician
Bob Wiesinger .... wireman (as Bob Weisinger)
Jim Davey .... digital film recording (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Marilyn Anderson .... technical assistant
Steve Barnes .... technical assistant
Steve Boag .... digital/film opticals
Martin Bullard .... digital/film opticals
Tim Caplan .... I/O supervisor
Mike Connolly .... cinespeed: Mill Film
Colin Coull .... colour grader
Paul Edwards .... visual effects coordinator: Mill Film Ltd
Charles Green .... digital/film opticals
Martin Hobbs .... visual effects producer
Duncan Horn .... Inferno artist
Dylan Kendle .... title sequence design
Alison Leaf .... 3D animator
Karl Mooney .... visual effects supervisor
Luke Pendrell .... title sequence design
Sandra Roach .... digital compositor
John Seymour .... visual effects editorial
Simon Wicker .... digital matte painter
Richard Bradshaw .... stunt performer
Jim Dowdall .... stunt coordinator
Joss Gower .... stunt performer
Steve Griffin .... stunt performer
Paul Heasman .... stunt performer
Sy Hollands .... stunt performer (as Cy Holland)
Mark Lisbon .... stunt performer
Lee Sheward .... stunt performer (as Lee Sherward)
Julian Spencer .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Armin Bach .... electrician: Germany
Adrian Biddle .... director of photography: additional photography
Alf Bloor .... stand-by rigger (as Alfred Bloor)
Ian Buckley .... grip: additional photography
Matthew Butler .... electrician
Gary Chaisty .... electrician
Peter Chester .... best boy
Graham Cussell .... electrician
Rosalyn Ellis .... clapper loader: second unit (as Ros Ellis)
Mike Evans .... focus puller: second unit
Wilf France .... clapper loader
Catherine Frift .... clapper loader: second unit
Mike Frift .... lighting cameraman: second unit
Amy Gilliam .... camera trainee
Richard R. Harrison .... electrical rigger (as Richard Harrison)
David Hedley .... electrician: Germany
Dai Hopkins .... key grip
Ronald Kage .... electrician: Germany
Josh Lee .... clapper loader: second unit
Anna Leippe .... video operator: Germany
Terry Lewis .... gaffer: additional photography
Clive Mackey .... focus puller
Brian Mcgivern .... generator operator (as Brain Mcgivern)
Simon Mills .... focus puller: additional photography
Nic Milner .... lighting cameraman: second unit
Peter Mountain .... still photographer
Steve O'Donoghue .... electrician (as Steve O'Donaghue)
James Offord .... camera trainee
John Payne .... grip: second unit
Alan Rank .... grip: second unit (as Allan Rank)
Ronald Schwarz .... best boy: Germany (as Ronnie Schwarz)
Agis Stamos .... second grip: Germany
Chyna Thomson .... focus puller: second unit (as Chyna Thompson)
Alasdair Walker .... director of photography: additional photography (as Alistair Walker)
Aaron Walters .... electrician
Gavin Walters .... gaffer
David Weller .... rigger: additional photography (as Dave Weller)
Garie Wetherill .... video assist trainee (as Gary Wetherall)
Casting Department
Shaheen Baig .... assistant to casting director
Louis Elman .... adr voice casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ozwald Boateng .... costumes: Mr. McDowell, Mr. Thewlis & Mr. Bettany (as Oswald Boetang)
Amanda Craze .... key costumer
Stefan Dietzelt .... wardrobe assistant: Germany
Stephanie Eatwell .... costume designer's assistant
Françoise Fourcade .... wardrobe assistant (as Francoise Fourcade)
Rose Goodheart .... costume stand-by: additional photography (as Rose Goodhart)
Annemarie Laber .... wardrobe assistant: Germany
Wilfrid Laudicina .... wardrobe supervisor (as Wilfred Laudicina)
Mark Powell .... costumes: Mr. McDowell, Mr. Thewlis & Mr. Bettany
Editorial Department
Mark Gravil .... assistant editor
Helen de Winter .... post-production coordinator (uncredited)
Music Department
Gilad Atzmon .... musician
Michael Blakey .... music producer
Liz Gallacher .... music consultant
Cathy Giles .... music contractor
Tom Jenkins .... assistant music engineer
Gary Thomas .... music engineer
Transportation Department
Colin Bressington .... driver: construction stand-by
Mark Clark .... driver: construction runaround
Ian Clarke .... vehicle technician
Graham Cussell .... driver
John Dawson .... facilities captain
Tim Delmache .... driver: minibus
Roger Hardman .... driver: props runaround
Graham Kelly .... action vehicle coordinator
Dean Moran .... unit driver
Ron Narduzzo .... unit driver (as Ron M Narduzzo)
Graham Pamment .... driver: minibus
Dave Pratt .... driver: camera car
David Rosenbaum .... unit driver
Stuart Sharp .... driver: wardrobe truck
John Squires .... driver: make-up truck
Jim Stephens .... unit driver
Darren Thackeray .... driver
Darren Thackeray .... unit driver
Sean Thornton .... picture vehicle technician
Other crew
Colette Appleby .... stand-in (as Collette Appleby)
Libbie Barr .... script supervisor
Joanna Beresford .... head of physical production: Film Four
Daniel Bird .... rushes synchronization: Telefilm
Karim Bouall .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Martin Bowes .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Roman Brandt .... floor runner: Germany
Martin Brennan .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Tom Chisman .... assistant location manager
Amy Coop .... production runner (as Adam Coop)
Chris Cosham .... medical services
Claudia Davids .... production accountant: Germany
David Dean .... health and safety officer
John Deering .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Scott Dixon .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Toby Dixon .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
William Dodds .... floor runner: dailies
Ganny Douidouls .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Gwyn Griffiths .... assistant: Mrs. Heyman
Renée Gundelach .... financing consultant
Christine Haouas .... unit nurse: Germany
Roy Hilder .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Klaus Hinz .... stand-in: Germany
Richard Hooper .... armorer
Patrick Humphries .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Andrew Michael Jolley .... trainee director
Helena Jones .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Sabine Kotke .... caterer: Germany (as Sabine Kötke)
Paul Lawson .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Gloria Luck .... studio coordinator: Angel Recording Studios
Tracey Malone .... production accountant
Detlef Matthies .... caterer: Germany (as Detlef Mathies)
Ulrich Michelsen .... stand-in: Germany
Michael Murphy .... stand-in
Gabriele Niemeyer .... production coordinator: Road Movies
Claudia Pauly .... accountant: Road Movies
Daniele Pfennigs .... public funds coordinator: Road Movies
Sebastian Pfutze .... stand-in: Germany (as Sebastian Pfütze)
Richard Preston .... sound design producer
Christiane Raab .... production runner: Germany
Louise Randall .... assistant accountant
Bernd Rautenberg .... armorer: Germany
Vinny Reed .... stand-in
Rupert Regis .... stand-in
Bruce Reynolds .... consultant
Adam Richards .... location manager
Scott Rowlatt .... location manager: additional photography
Ulrike Schaare .... stand-in: Germany
Dominic Sharp .... floor runner
Joss Skottowe .... armorer (as Joss)
Imke Sommerkamp .... production assistant: Germany
Amanda Street .... international sales: FilmFour
Rebecca Sutton .... production coordinator
Phil Symes .... unit publicist: Cowan Symes/Associates
Esther Mary Thompson .... choreographer
Justin Thomson-Glover .... senior business affairs executive: Film Four
Kai-Peter Uhlig .... legal service: Road Movies
Derek Warman .... fire officer
Joan Washington .... dialogue coach
Paul Webster .... chief executive: Film Four
Sarah Wheale .... production secretary
Thomas Wiseby .... boxing crew: Peacock Gym, London
Dave Evans .... armorer (uncredited)
David Aukin .... thanks
Liz Gallacher .... thanks
Jeremy Kimberlin .... thanks
Vanessa Myrie .... thanks
Abigail Payne .... thanks
Bridget Pedgrift .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, and brief drug use and nudity
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

In the opening bathroom scene, it is actually director Paul McGuigan at the urinal, according to the director's commentary.See more »
Continuity: When Gangster 55 is telling Freddy Mays to shoot him and the camera is showing his back you can see the gun that Freddy is holding on the couch. The next shot Freddy Mays puts the gun on the couch and leaves.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 »
Movie Connections:
References Pulp Fiction (1994)See more »
BlockbusterSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
23 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
Very good, under-rated and LIMEY-like., 19 June 2000
Author: isidore-lucien ducasse ( from montevideo, uruguay

Gangsters are vicious, murderous thugs, whose power is based on uniform, military might, a preying on the weak and a contempt for democracy. Nazis were vicious, murderous thugs whose power was based on uniform, military might, a preying on the weak and a contempt for democracy. Ergo, gangsters are fascists, and, double ergo, films which portray gangsters without a wagging finger are also fascist. This is the level of critical debate in the UK at the moment, that has greeted the recent slew of British gangster films in the wake of LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS. One misinformed hack in a major broadsheet even insinuated a link between this movement and recent, violent London crime.

The problem with these films is an aesthetic, not an ethical one, and the type of ignorant criticism they have drawn reveals a lingering bourgeois contempt for a genre that has proved over the decades to be infinitely varied, subtle, adaptable, but, most importantly, through an awesomely powerful iconography, capable of exploring ideas about society and the individual, modernisation, capitalism, dissent, cinema, masculinity, violence, the body, role-play, psychology, sociology, metaphysics. Can a genre embraced and remodelled by directors as diverse as Feuillade, Von Sternberg, Hawks, Lang, Lewis, Melville, Godard, Suzuki, Coppola, Scorcese, Kitano, among many others be considered negligible? The problem with these new films, as I say, is not that they are overly violent or glamorise crime, but that they are ineptly made, hackneyed, opportunistic, with their makers revealing little knowledge of, or love for, the genre in which they're working.

It's a pity for GANGSTER NO. 1 that it got caught up in this cycle, because it is a very good film, that maybe fails only in overambition, and that's not something we get to complain about very often. Ironically, the film's nearest model is not its sorry peers, or even archetypal classics like GET CARTER, but an American film, Soderbergh's THE LIMEY. Maybe these directors' non-Englishness (MacGuigan is Irish) allows them to cut through the phoney nostalgia more easily than native filmmakers, but their dismantling of gangster mythology is almost Melvillean (eg LE DOULOS).

There is the same fluidity here as in LIMEY, the same sense of the past's stranglehold on the present, the same impatience with genre's limits, with the impossibility of family, with the stifling of humanity by barbaric codes and ideals. MacGuigan goes one further than Soderbergh - both directors emphasis role-playing, casting iconic 60s stars who seem to be making it up as they go along, having a laugh, trying on accents and clothes, but while Terence Stamp achieves some kind of grace, Malcolm MacDowall goes very uncoolly mad.

There are three pointers in the first ten minutes that tell us where the film is going in its refusal to glamorise, to mythologise. First is the soundtrack, which is not the pumping macho nostalgic music beloved of the LOCK STOCK wannabes, but Sacha Distel - sung with heartbreaking sincerity by Neil Hannon, but Sacha Distel none the less. Secondly, the film opens at a business-like dinner of old gangsters blustering about the old times, MacDowell louder than most. If the flippant editing didn't tell us, the bathetic mocking of MacDowell when he leaves to relieve himself suggests that we shouldn't take everything he says too faithfully (or, in his straight-to-camera gesture, that he knows a lot more, eg about these 'friends', than he's letting on - is he a godlike creator?). In the third scene, champagne glass beside his feet, we notice his aim isn't quite what it was, and the title takes on rather a different, less iconic meaning.

It is this man who tells the story, and it quickly becomes clear that he is a raving lunatic, and thus as reliable as Humbert or M. This has two effects - every scene becomes infected by his madness, is heightened, in terms of colour and composition, by the way he sees the world, which is hightly unstable and schizophrenic, alternately jokey and horribly violent, with certain markers recurring in a kind of dream loop.

Secondly, we must look beyond his words to find the truth of each scene, forcing the viewer to play detective. This takes the power away from MacDowell, which is appropriate in a film about doubles, about hoow one man steals another man's identity (hence the foregrounding of mirrors, reflections, as well as the commodities that define people), only to lose his own.

MacDowell is never known by a name (his character is played by two actors, the others by one), and becomes a mere cipher, though with very real, frightening power, while Frankie remains essentially himself, his image a mere show of strength, never his whole self. The style reinforces this, and perhaps reflects MacGuigan's background in advertising, but neither Scott nor Parker ever rooted their style in character to such effect, and the fragmentation, heightening and distortion of imagery could have two meanings - they reveal a chaotic world which MacDowell, with all his will, and figured in his voiceover, has managed to unify through the power of his identity and voice; or they are a sign of breakdown. The extraordinary coda reveals which.

There have been complaints about the excessive violence of this film, but these scenes have a hallucinatory, ritualistic quality appropriate to a highly disciplined madman. GANGSTER's abstraction - that it's subject is gangster mythology rather than one particular protagonist per se, does not mean that it avoids social grounding - the vivid recreation of 60s London, only makes the unaccountable, inexplicable appearance of this phenomenon all the more alarming.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Gangster No. 1 (2000)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Your top ten british gangster films matandocabos777
Gangster 55 casting. shadowman1115824
Bettany = McDowell? dmille
Malcolm McDowell and his accent geert1969
Malcolm McDowell is a great actor, but wasn't right for this movie agwoodliffe
terribly underrated senasena
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