6.7/10
6,806
58 user 22 critic
This fact-based movie follows the life of the twin crime-lords in London's '60s underworld.

Director:

Peter Medak

Writer:

Philip Ridley
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billie Whitelaw ... Violet Kray
Tom Bell ... Jack 'The Hat' McVitie
Gary Kemp ... Ronald Kray
Martin Kemp ... Reggie Kray
Susan Fleetwood ... Rose
Charlotte Cornwell Charlotte Cornwell ... May
Kate Hardie ... Frances
Avis Bunnage Avis Bunnage ... Helen
Alfred Lynch ... Charlie Kray
Gary Love ... Steve
Steven Berkoff ... George Cornell
Jimmy Jewel ... Cannonball Lee
Barbara Ferris ... Mrs. Lawson
Victor Spinetti ... Mr. Lawson
John McEnery ... Eddie Pellam
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Storyline

The life of a pair of twins (Ronald and Reginald Kray) who were born in London in 1934 and when they grew up became gangsters selling protection. Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bonded by Blood See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Kray fivérek See more »

Filming Locations:

Bermondsey, London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,060,847
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Black and White (some footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlotte Cornwell, who plays May, met Charles Kray as research for this film; she discovered that he had a photo of her father Ronnie with his arms around the twins' shoulders (Ronnie did several jail sentences for fraud). See more »

Goofs

When Reggie and Frances are talking in the garden of their mum's house, it can be clearly seen that one of the neighbours houses has UPVC double glazed windows. These did not exist in 1960s. See more »

Quotes

Violet Kray: Shall I tell you my dream? I dreamed that I was a beautiful white swan. And I could fly anywhere, do anything. I ate fish and pecked at things with my beak. And I had this egg, a beautiful egg it was. And there were noises coming from inside the shell. And do you know what the noises were? They were - now listen carefully - they were children's voices. And I looked after this egg and kept it safe, until one day there was a hatching sound. And out came two boys and they were mine. And they were ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The infamous 'Chelsea Smile' scene was reduced in the UK cinema version but was later restored fully uncut for video releases after 2002. See more »


Soundtracks

Balling the Jack
Performed by Jimmy Jewel
Written by Chris Smith and Jim Burris (as James Burris)
Published by Frances Day and Hunter Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

The Krays probably would have liked their film.
8 September 2004 | by TriviataSee all my reviews

I watched the film in the context of a historical study into London and its underworld from the 18th to 20th centuries, so I apologise in advance if this review seems overly academic.

The Krays were a fascinating pair, and this film shows the continuing interest in their lives and crimes, which has continued past their deaths. The film accurately shows the individual quirks and fascinations of the brothers while remaining a drama, rather than a documentary (and there are quite a few about).

The enormous presence of the Krays in London history is proven by the Monty Python sketch on the Pirhana Brothers, Doug and Dinsdale - made a single year after the Krays were imprisoned. If you don't know it, it's worth a look-see.

Martin and Gary Kemp, seasoned performers themselves were chillingly well-cast as the twins, who used the media themselves to promote their place as "Diamond Geezers" in East End London. The Krays themselves served as advisors on the film, with the Kemps visiting them in prison to meet and learn about their role from them.

From what I've read about them, I think the Krays would have liked this film about them, especially that proper brothers - twins, in fact - were playing them.

  • - -


By the way, the copy of the film I borrowed had a special cover which had a pocket over the name "The Krays" with 'blood' (red fluid) in it. It suited the film and subject matter well - one up for the designers.


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