The lives of characters who live, love and suffer through their association with the charismatic charms of gangster Harry Starks.

On Disc

at Amazon




5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Our Friends in the North (TV Mini-Series 1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Mark Strong, Gina McKee
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Murder, deception, revenge and corruption that starts with the murder of a cop by fellow Detroit detective, Frank Agnew.

Stars: Mark Strong, Lennie James, James Ransone
The Take (2009)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Based upon the novel by Martina Cole, this TV series is mostly about Freddie Jackson, portrayed by Tom Hardy, who is just out of prison. He has the right connections and now he's ready to use them.

Stars: Shaun Evans, Tom Hardy, Charlotte Riley
Low Winter Sun (TV Movie 2006)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Frank Agnew is a police detective who kills for revenge and naively believes he's engineered the perfect crime.

Director: Adrian Shergold
Stars: Mark Strong, Brian McCardie, Irene Bagach
The Runaway (TV Mini-Series 2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cathy Connor and Eamonn Docherty are brought up together in the East End. As the daughter of a prostitute, Madge, Cathy's life is difficult, especially when everyone assumes that she will ... See full summary »

Stars: Keith Allen, Burn Gorman, Noah Hedges
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Chiwetel Ejifor leads an all-star cast in this gritty conspiracy thriller in which he plays a cop searching for the murderer of a crime boss. Detective Inspector Jonah Gabriel returns to ... See full summary »

Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Eccleston, Kierston Wareing
The Honourable Woman (TV Mini-Series 2014)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Centers on Nessa Stein, a woman who inherits her father's arms business and finds herself in a international maelstrom when as she continues to promote the reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Rea, Lubna Azabal
Birdsong (TV Mini-Series 2012)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

As an English soldier fights in the horrific trenches of northern France, he is haunted by the memories of his forbidden love affair with a French woman.

Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Clémence Poésy, Matthew Goode
In the Flesh (TV Series 2013)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Four years after the Rising, the government starts to rehabilitate the Undead for reentry into society, including teenager Kieren Walker, who returns to his small Lancashire village to face a hostile reception, as well as his own demons.

Stars: Luke Newberry, Harriet Cains, Marie Critchley
Paula (TV Mini-Series 2017)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The fallout in a chemistry teacher's life after her one-night stand with a good-looking but dangerous ducker and diver.

Stars: Denise Gough, Tom Hughes, Siobhán Cullen


Series cast summary:
 DI George Mooney 4 episodes, 2004
Neil Conrich ...
 Manny Gould 3 episodes, 2004
 Jock McClusky 3 episodes, 2004
 Ruby Ryder 2 episodes, 2004


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Harry Starks runs 60s Soho... but he wants so much more.


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 July 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Empresa do Crime  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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]
Harry Starks: 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.
See more »


Followed by He Kills Coppers (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Somewhat disappointing
29 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

I tuned in to 'The Long Firm'" with high hopes. A modern historical drama starring the excellent Mark Strong looked promising, bringing to mind memories of 'Our friends in the north' - one of the best TV dramas of the past 20 years. Having now seen the fourth and final episode, I have to say that, although it was entertaining and extremely well-made, I was more than a little disappointed.

I am loathe to criticise ambitious drama like this in the light of the soapy dreck that constitutes the vast majority of British televisual output. However, 'The Long Firm' promised more than it delivered. And its faults lay firmly with the writing.

Each episode used a different narrator to relay details of their associations with the main character, London gangster Harry Starks. The technique proved clumsy, with the voice-overs unsubtle and unenlightening. Why employ such a method if ultimately the insights are all the same? More friction needed to exist between what we saw and what we heard for it to work. Like too much modern drama, the approach didn't transcend its stylistic facility.

In the same vein, character development and the attendant psychological underpinnings (e.g. gangster as thwarted celebrity/entertainer) were clichéd and overly familiar. The final episode, in particular, was embarrassingly heavy-handed in its satire of the counter-culture and academia. In general there was too much pastiche and caricature to allow real interest. Any emotional impact generated by these people was purely down to the skill of the actors and the director. Also, I haven't read the source novel by Jake Arnott, but I am presuming that it made a more profitable and resonant use of the metaphorical title. Here, it was explained briefly in episode one and then thrown away.

Ultimately, each episode proved highly watchable but somehow unsatisfying, leaving this viewer to assume that we were building to some revelation/twist/new insight that never came, the screenwriter happy to fashion the piece into little more than a summation of period iconography/psychology.

There was much to enjoy, though. The piece was extremely well-cast, mixing a few expected-but-impressive veterans with a lot of talented but lesser-known faces. Mark Strong proved to be a commanding linchpin as Starks, bringing charisma and nuance to the role. Also notable were Lena Headey's Ruby Ryder, the excellent George Costigan, and Shaun Dingwall as Harry's biographer. The period detail and mise en scene were nicely understated and entirely convincing, and there were nice, ballsy touches like the interpolation of footage from the 'Parkinson' show. Additionally there were a few welcome surprises on the contemporaneous soundtrack, such as Janice Nicholls' novelty hit 'I'll give it five'. Or 'Oi'll give eet foive!'.

Perhaps I expected a little too much from this piece. I walked away reasonably entertained but with an air of opportunities unfulfilled.

5 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Zach Braff tackles acting and directing on his new show "Alex, Inc.," and we take a look at the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time.

Watch the show