Skip to main content

THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY

UK, 1980 (MIFF 1981)

Director: John MacKenzie

Harold Shand is a big-time Cockney capitalist thug; he runs pubs, casinos and restaurants and has the local police under his thumb. A Rolls, a luxury yacht, and a 'classy' mistress all point to his power and success — but his eyes are on even farther horizons. And Harold is nothing if not patriotic. He wants to play his part in making Britain great once more. He is on the verge of concluding a major deal when an explosion of bloody violence hits the scene of his operations.

"The Long Good Friday stars the admirable Bob Hoskins as a Kray or Richardson-type crook who is trying to involve the Mafia (Eddie Constantine, which should help the film in France) in a major property deal involving a new Thames waterside development. The crook is one of the old-fashioned kind, a Cockney lad who has made it big and now wants to go respectable. He has a yacht, a classy mistress (Helen Mirren) and a set of thugs he is trying to smarten up. Unfortunately he also has enemies who embark on a bloody campaign against him which makes the Mafia uneasy. Spilling blood is an old-fashioned habit of which they no longer approve. The enemies turn out to be none other than the IRA, as skilful as and even more committed than him. The film is extremely professional in every way and full of good playing. It is further enlivened by a spiky, funny script from Barrie Keeffe."

Derek Malcolm The Guardian

See also...

Down and Out

Another film in a series whose starting point is the sound track, made by pinning a radio microphone to the central character. The resulting "natural conversation" was edited to five minutes and the ... More »

CHANCE, HISTORY, ART . . .

Using as its starting point a series of interviews with five artists recorded on videotape, this film examines the legacy of surrealism and its quest for a meeting point between the concrete world of ... More »

PAS DE DEUX

Pheroza is a Parsee, a descendant of the ancient Zoroastrians of Persia Although the Parsees have lived in India for 13 centures as a tiny minority in the sub-continent, they have maintained the ... More »

John Barleycorn

Using a new version of the traditional English folksong "John Barleycorn", the film uses a combination of animated and still artwork to convey the mood of 19th Century agriculture in England ... More »

Godard ‘80

The famous French film director Jean-Luc Godard is interviewed by British film theorist Peter Wollen and the editor of Framework Don Ranveaud He talks of the developments in his work, the change in ... More »

Joyce and Harry Go Dancing

A couple go ballroom dancing We discover something surprising ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director