Dramatising the violent reign of two of London's most notorious gangsters, Billy Hill (Leo Gregory) and Jack 'Spot' Comer (Terry Stone), Once Upon a Time in London charts the legendary rise and fall of a nationwide criminal empire that lasted until the mid-fifties and which paved the way for the notorious Kray Twins and The Richardsons.Written by
Billy Hill was born William Charles Hill in St Pancras, London, England on 13th December 1911 and died 01st January 1984. See more »
In a scene set in 1939 there are posters for a concert featuring The Platters and Lonnie Donegan and another advertising "A Visit With Floyd Patterson". Both of these seem to be from the 1960s. See more »
Acting and photography in this flick is a very high standard. Dark but lovely and polished. All this counts for nothing though as it's let down by a story that's so disjointed you realise you stopped caring earlier on. The first part of the film I thought was a clever use of some cool cinematic style of weaving stories together. If I put the effort in to keep track, it would pay off as the film went on. But no. There's no story, just things that happen. It's full of pointless dead end scenes. Gangster one beats up gangster two who then beats up gangster one etc and on occasion a random moll appears and disappears. No character background or development either. They start off bad and, well, stay bad and carry on doing things that they did at the start of the film. Two hours....two hours of my life!! I suppose I'm optimistic and waited for that "ah, I get it" moment that was never going to come.
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