134 user 88 critic

The Long Good Friday (1980)

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An up-and-coming gangster is tested by the insurgence of an unknown, very powerful threat.


John Mackenzie


Barrie Keeffe
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Freeman ... Colin
Leo Dolan Leo Dolan ... Phil
Kevin McNally ... Irish Youth
Patti Love ... Carol
P.H. Moriarty ... Razors
Derek Thompson ... Jeff
Bryan Marshall Bryan Marshall ... Harris
Bob Hoskins ... Harold
Helen Mirren ... Victoria
Ruby Head Ruby Head ... Harold's Mother
Charles Cork ... Eric
Olivier Pierre Olivier Pierre ... Chef
Pierce Brosnan ... 1st Irishman
Daragh O'Malley ... 2nd Irishman
Dave King ... Parky


Harold, a prosperous English gangster, is about to close a lucrative new deal when bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places. A mysterious syndicate is trying to muscle in on his action, and Harold wants to know who they are. He finds out soon enough, and bloody mayhem ensues. Written by Marty Cassady <martyc@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What should have been the greatest day of Harold's life suddenly becomes the longest. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website




English | French

Release Date:

2 April 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crni petak za gangstere See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lew Grade was the original producer of the film, and it was to be an ITC film production (which he owned), but he pulled the plug when he realized the film's plot involved the I.R.A. The film was later picked up by George Harrison as Producer, and eventually released as a HandMade film production (which Harrison owned). See more »


Blood on Harold's shirt after his final "altercation" with Jeff. In the cabin the blood only comes to 2 or 3 buttons down from the top, when he leaves the boat it's up to his top button. See more »


[first lines]
Colin: Two large Bushmills, please, darlin'.
See more »


Referenced in Top Gear: Episode #10.1 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Darn Near Flawless
28 August 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Aces all around. Hoskins is a barrel-chested dynamo and effective successor to Cagney and Robinson. But where 30's gangsters wanted to take over the town, their 80's counterpart wants to go international like any other "corporation". Trouble is that going international requires as much political savvy as it does financial— something Harold (Hoskins) just doesn't understand.

That wordlessly disjointed opening sequence is somewhat off-putting. Yet, thanks to a masterfully constructed screenplay. the threads connect up in the end. Still, I was really blind-sided by the narrative's link to the puzzle as to who is sabotaging Harold's big plans and, just as importantly, why. At the same time, I also like the way the lovely Victoria (Mirren) is turned into more than just a silken mistress. She's really the power behind Harold's throne, as the sudden slapping sequence shows.

There are so many memorable scenes, starting with the slaughter-house. It's like nothing I've seen; at the same time, I hope the topsy-turvy actors got paid double. And what about that fancy power dinner that Victoria sweats to finesse. It's a subtle masterpiece of suppressed emotion that keeps threatening to disrupt the big plans. Then too, you can't help wondering what the little Napoleon is thinking during those wordless final minutes of run time. That too is like nothing I've seen and was someone's special inspiration. Iin my little book, the movie's staging, writing and acting are darn near flawless. And just as importantly, are never predictable.

And here I thought great gangster films were America's exclusive preserve. But Hoskins and the movie belong up there with the best of our own. I guess I have to re-calibrate.

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