A nine part series depicting the varying fortunes of four friends - Nicky, Geordie, Mary and Tosker - from the optimistic times of 1964 to the uncertainties of 1995. Taking nine pivotal ... See full summary »
Emma Woodhouse has a rigid sense of propriety as regards matrimonial alliances. Unfortunately she insists on matchmaking for her less forceful friend, Harriet, and so causes her to come to ... See full summary »
Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what ... See full summary »
Andy Spader has been happily married for 13 years, with two teenage children, when he meets a younger woman, Claire Holmes, after going to investigate a break-in at her travel agency shop. ... See full summary »
London, early '60s. Harry Starks is a dangerous mobster, a club owner who loves money, rent boys and Judy Garland. He's an East End gangster who, in grandiose Kray Twins style tradition, is not only prone to streaks of madness, depression and a violent temper but homosexuality. His penchant for Spanish Inquisition style justice has handed him the Fleet Street moniker of "Torture Gang Boss". He revels in a nether world of minor celebrities, fund raisers, boxing, showbiz, gambling clubs and philanthropy... for the sake of public image. Written by
When Harry and Teddy go to Nigeria (in 1964), we see cars driving on the right-hand side of the road. Nigeria drove on the left until 1972. See more »
[to John Ogungbe, preparing to torture him]
Now I ain't gonna enjoy this any more than you, old son, but needs must, as they say. I want the truth, the whole truth - and by the time I've finished with you, by God I'll have it.
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One of those enigmas that the industry occasionally throws up is why is Mark Strong such a genuinely impressive actor on television yet so astonishingly bland whenever he appears in a movie? He's certainly at his very best in The Long Firm. The BBC series got lost in the tail-end of the avalanche of post-Guy Ritchie British Mockney gangster movies, but this four-part TV drama is in a class of its own. Each seen through a different character's eyes (Derek Jacobi's gay politician, Lena Headey's b-movie actress and Phil Daniels' drug dealer), the first three episodes are superb in their evocation of the late 50s and 60s and the milieu underachieving third-league homosexual ("I'm not gay, I'm a homosexual") Jewish East London gangster Harry Starks (Strong, living up to his name) and his delusions of respectability and love of Judy Garland and Dorothy Squires. The final episode is less successful, largely because it is filtered through Shaun Dingwall's shallow and too comically stereotyped sociology professor who learns his own mediocrity through Harry's intellectual outgrowing of him - the scenes with Strong are excellent, but when the focus is on Dingwall it's too much a soft satire of 70s. Yet even that lapse of judgement can't detract from the overall quality of the series this is the real deal and deserves to be far better known.
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