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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

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