6.8/10
12,105
128 user 61 critic

Gangster No. 1 (2000)

Chronicles the rise and fall of a prominent, and particularly ruthless English gangster.

Director:

Paul McGuigan

Writers:

Johnny Ferguson (screenplay adaptation), Louis Mellis (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Director: Paul McGuigan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Alex McSweeney ... Bloke In Tailor's
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Storyline

A middle-aged crime boss smugly reflects back from 1999, narrating the brutality which made him triumphant - and feared. As an unnamed young hood in Swinging 60's London, he aped his mod boss Freddie Mays, and seemed to do anything for him. But his narration exposes all-consuming envy: of Freddie's supremacy, and especially his tall bird. The baby shark develops his viciousness and backstabbing, scheming to be Gangster No. 1. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There can only be ONE. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, and brief drug use and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

FilmFour | MGM

Country:

UK | Germany | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 June 2000 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Gangster Nr. 1 See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£133,092 (United Kingdom), 11 June 2000, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,514, 16 June 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,915
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The two actors who play the "gangster" at the two points in his life are 7 inches different in height. See more »

Goofs

Beyond the height differential, the two actors playing "Gangster" have very different eye color. This is especially noticeable, as they continually ask people to "look them in the eye". See more »

Quotes

[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!
[laughter]
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's Making Love
Written by Homer Banks, Bettye Crutcher, Don Davis, and Raymond Jackson
Published by Irving Music Ltd
Administered by Rondor Music (London) Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

McDowell redivivus
13 July 2002 | by nunculusSee all my reviews

What a mug! The evil-harlequin mask of Malcolm McDowell, so familiar from those bugeyed closeups of him "mounching lumpchiks of toast" in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, has aged into a fabulous ruin. And one of the pleasures of the glib, slick, cocky, brutal, shallow, and terrifically entertaining GANGSTER NO. 1 is in the realization that McDowell is the same McDowell--his voiceover has the same energetic sneer it had 31 years ago in CLOCKWORK. He's the same guy under a withered and weathered facade. As Gangster No. 1--a sociopath with a schoolgirl crush on his boss, spit-shined David Thewlis--McDowell brings you into the succulent pleasures of aged corruption and long-swallowed brutality. No. 1's nuttiness--a kind of belch of guilt, generally released in Francis Bacon-derivative silent screams--seems, for a while, like fun. Paul Bettany, playing Young No. 1, has a great, lizardlike, histrionic deadpan--he keeps telling his victims "Look into my eyes!" as if something scary and deep were hidden there. (Instead, there is zero--an effect Young No. 1 may be unaware of.) The movie takes such a jaunty and directorially piquant view of its own shin-kicking nihilism that you can't help but play along; until the moralizing but utterly earned finale sets you on your ear.

Not deep stuff--not even as deep as the superbly unself-reflective head-smackers who made up GOODFELLAS' crew. But Saffron Burrows, as a Cockney chanteuse who's mad in love with Thewlis' Mr. Big, brings you back to the days of much-posher-and-prettier-than-their-parts British character actresses. (Could Burrows in fact be the Susannah York of the millennium?) And the director, Paul McGuigan, and Bettany keep the joint jumpin'. Why did this get such a crummy release? There's been almost nothing this year as sheerly, undilutedly fun.


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